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Semin Liver Dis. 1990 Feb;10(1):30-46.

Cellular sources of noncollagenous matrix proteins: role of fat-storing cells in fibrogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, Philipps-University, Marburg, FRG.


The main types of noncollagenous ECM proteins in liver are FN, laminin, PGs and elastin. Also present is a pure carbohydrate polymer, hyaluronic acid. Their concentrations increase during fibrogenesis in a specific sequence and spatial distribution. FN is among the first to appear. The accumulation of matrix proteins in the space of Disse (perisinusoidal fibrosis) is most important for some clinical consequences of fibrosis. Perisinusoidal FSC are the cell type responsible for exaggerated ECM formation at sites of tissue injury, since these cells synthesize at a high rate in vitro all the noncollagenous matrix components occurring in fibrotic liver matrix (FN, laminin, dermatan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid) and since FSC proliferate and transform into myofibroblast-like cells with an enhanced matrix protein synthesis rate. Recent experimental data suggest strong cellular cooperation of these cells with activated liver macrophages or Kupffer cells, platelets, and regenerating hepatocytes, which leads via a paracrine mechanism involving TGF beta, TGF alpha/EGF, PDGF, and probably other cytokines to stimulated proteoglycan synthesis, proliferation, and transformation into myofibroblast-like cells. The latter cell type has the potential of auto-stimulation (by an autocrine process) involving secretion of TGF beta and TGF alpha/EGF. Based on these findings, a model of FSC activation is proposed (Fig. 10).

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