The study of hepatic fibrosis, or scarring in response to chronic liver injury, has witnessed tremendous progress in the past two decades. Clarification of the cellular sources of scar, and emergence of hepatic stellate cells not only as a fibrogenic cell type, but also as a critical immunomodulatory and homeostatic regulator are among the most salient advances. Activation of hepatic stellate cells remains a central event in fibrosis, complemented by evidence of additional sources of matrix-producing cells including bone marrow, portal fibroblasts, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition from both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. A growing range of cytokines and their receptors and inflammatory cell subsets have further expanded our knowledge about this dynamic process. Collectively, these findings have laid the foundation for continued elucidation of underlying mechanisms, and more importantly for the implementation of rationally based approaches to limit fibrosis, accelerate repair and enhance liver regeneration in patients with chronic liver disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Dec 2008


  • Anti-fibrotic
  • Cirrhosis
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Hepatic fibrosis
  • Stellate cell


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