There has been great progress made in our understanding of the cellular mechanism of hepatic fibrosis. The recognition that the hepatic stellate cell, (formerly know as lipocyte, Ito, or fat-storing cell), played a central role in the fibrotic response was key to our understanding. Stellate cells undergo a process known as activation, in response to any insult. Activation is a broad phenotypic response, characterized by distinct, function changes in proliferation, fibrogenesis, contractility, cytokine secretion, and matrix degradation. Insights gained into the molecular regulations of stellate cell activation may lead to new antifibrotic therapies, which may reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic liver injury.