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J Clin Invest. 2005 Nov;115(11):2962-5.

B cells: no longer bystanders in liver fibrosis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Cytokines secreted by cells that mediate the innate and adaptive immune responses play a critical role in regulating the synthesis of ECM components by fibroblasts. Overexpression and deposition of ECM components are dominant features of fibrotic diseases, including hepatic fibrosis. The contribution of CD4+ Th2 cells to hepatic fibrosis has been well described. Now, in this issue of the JCI, Novobrantseva et al. provide data to suggest that hepatic B cells also play a role in liver injury (see the related article beginning on page 3072). In a carbon tetrachloride-induced mouse model of hepatic fibrosis, T cell-deficient mice developed severe liver fibrosis; however, in B cell-deficient animals, hepatic fibrosis was attenuated. This study provides new insight into our understanding of the cells involved in mediating the adaptive immune response that leads to hepatic fibrosis.

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