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Clin Liver Dis. 2006 Aug;10(3):459-79, vii-viii.

Hepatic fibrosis, stellate cells, and portal hypertension.

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  • 1Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-8887, USA. don.rockey@utsouthwestern.edu


Hepatic fibrogenesis is the common result of injury to the liver. It is believed to be a critical factor that leads to hepatic dysfunction and may be important in portal hypertension. The fibrogenic response is a complex process in which accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, tissue contraction, and alteration in blood flow are prominent. A critical event in fibrogenesis is activation of resident perisinusoidal cells that are termed "hepatic stellate cells". Stellate cell activation is characterized by many important phenotypes, including enhanced extracellular matrix synthesis and prominent contractility. Given the central role of stellate cell activation in hepatic fibrogenesis (and portal hypertension), effective therapy for hepatic fibrogenesis is most likely will be directed at this event.

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