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Arch Med Res. 2002 Nov-Dec;33(6):595-9.

Emerging concepts in inflammation and fibrosis.

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Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa (UAM-Iztapalapa), Mexico City, Mexico.


Hepatic and pancreatic response to several insults commonly includes similar pathways of inflammation, fibrogenesis/regeneration, which may occur simultaneously and without appropriate coordination, resulting in chronic inflammation, scarring, and organ dysfunction. This review highlights the opinion of experts gathered for the Mexican Digestive Disease Week (2001) to analyze these molecular events with emphasis on identifying possible therapeutic opportunities. Inflammatory response encompasses leukocyte infiltration, favored by adhesion molecules of the selectin family, chemokines, integrins, and activated stellate cells (SC). Quiescent SC undergo activation mediated by mechanical stress and expression of cytokines, oxidative stress products, and growth factors and play a significant role in fibrosis and in reparation toward synthesis of extracellular matrix components. Also, hepatocytes and acinar cells contribute to the inflammatory and fibrotic response. Molecules that down-regulate this response are overexpressed. Therapeutic strategies with targeting to such mechanisms underlying chronic hepatic and pancreatic injury are an emerging reality.

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