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Curr Pathobiol Rep. 2013 Sep;1(3):225-230.

Contribution of Myofibroblasts of Different Origins to Liver Fibrosis.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock AR 72205, USA.


The most common cause of liver failure is cirrhosis, due to progressive liver fibrosis and other architectural changes in the liver. Fibrosis occurs after liver injury or stress and results directly from an imbalance between the processes of extracellular matrix synthesis (fibrogenesis) and degradation (fibrolysis). Although research studies have identified several promising targets at the molecular level, current therapies to prevent and treat hepatic fibrosis in patients have only shown limited success. It is well established that liver myofibroblasts are the primary effector cells responsible for the extensive extracellular matrix accumulation and scar formation observed during hepatic fibrosis, in both clinical and experimental settings. Thus, as the major fibrogenic cells implicated in wound healing and tissue repair response, liver myofibroblasts could represent excellent targets for antifibrotic therapies. Still, the exact natures and identities of liver myofibroblasts precursors have yet to be resolved, and their relative contribution to hepatic fibrosis to be determined. The goal of this review is to examine the relative importance of liver myofibroblast precursors in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis.


Bone marrow-derived fibrocytes; Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; Hepatic stellate cells; Mesothelial cells; Myofibroblasts; Pathobiology; Portal fibroblasts

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