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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2007 Jun 15;462(2):266-72. Epub 2007 May 2.

NOX in liver fibrosis.

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Department of Medicine, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10026, USA.


NADPH oxidase is a multi-protein complex producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) both in phagocytic cells, being essential in host defense, and in non-phagocytic cells, regulating intracellular signalling. In the liver, NADPH oxidase plays a central role in fibrogenesis. A functionally active form of the NADPH oxidase is expressed not only in Kupffer cells (phagocytic cell type) but also in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) (non-phagocytic cell type), suggesting a role of the non-phagocytic NADPH oxidase in HSC activation. Consistent with this concept, profibrogenic agonists such as Angiotensin II (Ang II) and platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), or apoptotic bodies exert their activity through NADPH oxidase-activation in HSCs. Both pharmacological inhibition with DPI and genetic studies using p47(phox) knockout mice provided evidence for a central role of NADPH oxidase in the regulation of HSC-activity and liver fibrosis. In addition to the p47(phox) component, only Rac1 has been identified as a functional active component of the NADPH oxidase complex in HSCs.

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