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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Origin of myofibroblasts in liver fibrosis

  • Author(s): Brenner, David A
  • Kisseleva, Tatiana
  • Scholten, David
  • Paik, Yong Han
  • Iwaisako, Keiko
  • Inokuchi, Sayaka
  • Schnabl, Bernd
  • Seki, Ekihiro
  • De Minicis, Samuele
  • Oesterreicher, Christoph
  • Taura, Kojiro
  • et al.

Abstract Most chronic liver diseases of all etiologies result in progressive liver fibrosis. Myofibroblasts produce the extracellular matrix, including type I collagen, which constitutes the fibrous scar in liver fibrosis. Normal liver has little type I collagen and no detectable myofibroblasts, but myofibroblasts appear early in experimental and clinical liver injury. The origin of the myofibroblast in liver fibrosis is still unresolved. The possibilities include activation of endogenous mesenchymal cells including fibroblasts and hepatic stellate cells, recruitment from the bone marrow, and transformation of epithelial or endothelial cells to myofibroblasts. In fact, the origin of myofibroblasts may be different for different types of chronic liver diseases, such as cholestatic liver disease or hepatotoxic liver disease. This review will examine our current understanding of the liver myofibroblast.

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