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Front Physiol. 2015 Nov 13;6:329. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00329. eCollection 2015.

Cytoglobin as a Marker of Hepatic Stellate Cell-derived Myofibroblasts.

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Department of Hepatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University Osaka, Japan.


Myofibroblasts play important roles in inflammation, fibrosis and tumorigenesis in chronically inflamed liver. Liver myofibroblasts originate from hepatic stellate cells, portal fibroblasts or mesothelial cells, and they are localized in and around fibrotic septum and portal tracts. Liver myofibroblasts are the source of extracellular matrix materials, including type I collagen and multiple fibrogenic growth factors, such as transforming growth factor-β and vascular endothelial growth factor. Although a detailed characterization of the function of individual myofibroblasts has not been conducted, owing to the lack of appropriate cell markers, recent lineage-tracing technology has revealed the limited contribution of myofibroblasts that are derived from portal fibroblasts to various types of liver fibrosis, as compared with the contribution of hepatic stellate cells. In addition, cytoglobin, which is the fourth globin in mammals and function as a local gas sensor, provides a new perspective on the involvement of stellate cells in fibrosis and carcinogenesis, possibly through its anti-oxidative properties and is a promising new marker that discriminates between myofibroblasts derived from stellate cells and those from portal fibroblasts.


cytoglobin; hypoxia; liver fibrosis; myofibroblast; stellate cell

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