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      Mechanisms of hepatic stellate cell activation

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      Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology

      Springer Nature

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          Abstract

          Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in liver injury is the primary driver of hepatic fibrosis. In this Review, Tsuchida and Friedman detail the varied intracellular and extracellular signalling pathways leading to HSC activation, as well as the role of HSCs in liver fibrosis resolution and as therapeutic targets.

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          Most cited references 203

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          Global epidemiology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease-Meta-analytic assessment of prevalence, incidence, and outcomes.

          Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of liver disease worldwide. We estimated the global prevalence, incidence, progression, and outcomes of NAFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). PubMed/MEDLINE were searched from 1989 to 2015 for terms involving epidemiology and progression of NAFLD. Exclusions included selected groups (studies that exclusively enrolled morbidly obese or diabetics or pediatric) and no data on alcohol consumption or other liver diseases. Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cirrhosis, overall mortality, and liver-related mortality were determined. NASH required histological diagnosis. All studies were reviewed by three independent investigators. Analysis was stratified by region, diagnostic technique, biopsy indication, and study population. We used random-effects models to provide point estimates (95% confidence interval [CI]) of prevalence, incidence, mortality and incidence rate ratios, and metaregression with subgroup analysis to account for heterogeneity. Of 729 studies, 86 were included with a sample size of 8,515,431 from 22 countries. Global prevalence of NAFLD is 25.24% (95% CI: 22.10-28.65) with highest prevalence in the Middle East and South America and lowest in Africa. Metabolic comorbidities associated with NAFLD included obesity (51.34%; 95% CI: 41.38-61.20), type 2 diabetes (22.51%; 95% CI: 17.92-27.89), hyperlipidemia (69.16%; 95% CI: 49.91-83.46%), hypertension (39.34%; 95% CI: 33.15-45.88), and metabolic syndrome (42.54%; 95% CI: 30.06-56.05). Fibrosis progression proportion, and mean annual rate of progression in NASH were 40.76% (95% CI: 34.69-47.13) and 0.09 (95% CI: 0.06-0.12). HCC incidence among NAFLD patients was 0.44 per 1,000 person-years (range, 0.29-0.66). Liver-specific mortality and overall mortality among NAFLD and NASH were 0.77 per 1,000 (range, 0.33-1.77) and 11.77 per 1,000 person-years (range, 7.10-19.53) and 15.44 per 1,000 (range, 11.72-20.34) and 25.56 per 1,000 person-years (range, 6.29-103.80). Incidence risk ratios for liver-specific and overall mortality for NAFLD were 1.94 (range, 1.28-2.92) and 1.05 (range, 0.70-1.56).
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            Hepatic stellate cells: protean, multifunctional, and enigmatic cells of the liver.

            The hepatic stellate cell has surprised and engaged physiologists, pathologists, and hepatologists for over 130 years, yet clear evidence of its role in hepatic injury and fibrosis only emerged following the refinement of methods for its isolation and characterization. The paradigm in liver injury of activation of quiescent vitamin A-rich stellate cells into proliferative, contractile, and fibrogenic myofibroblasts has launched an era of astonishing progress in understanding the mechanistic basis of hepatic fibrosis progression and regression. But this simple paradigm has now yielded to a remarkably broad appreciation of the cell's functions not only in liver injury, but also in hepatic development, regeneration, xenobiotic responses, intermediary metabolism, and immunoregulation. Among the most exciting prospects is that stellate cells are essential for hepatic progenitor cell amplification and differentiation. Equally intriguing is the remarkable plasticity of stellate cells, not only in their variable intermediate filament phenotype, but also in their functions. Stellate cells can be viewed as the nexus in a complex sinusoidal milieu that requires tightly regulated autocrine and paracrine cross-talk, rapid responses to evolving extracellular matrix content, and exquisite responsiveness to the metabolic needs imposed by liver growth and repair. Moreover, roles vital to systemic homeostasis include their storage and mobilization of retinoids, their emerging capacity for antigen presentation and induction of tolerance, as well as their emerging relationship to bone marrow-derived cells. As interest in this cell type intensifies, more surprises and mysteries are sure to unfold that will ultimately benefit our understanding of liver physiology and the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease.
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              Pioglitazone, Vitamin E, or Placebo for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

              Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a common liver disease that can progress to cirrhosis. Currently, there is no established treatment for this disease. We randomly assigned 247 adults with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and without diabetes to receive pioglitazone at a dose of 30 mg daily (80 subjects), vitamin E at a dose of 800 IU daily (84 subjects), or placebo (83 subjects), for 96 weeks. The primary outcome was an improvement in histologic features of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, as assessed with the use of a composite of standardized scores for steatosis, lobular inflammation, hepatocellular ballooning, and fibrosis. Given the two planned primary comparisons, P values of less than 0.025 were considered to indicate statistical significance. Vitamin E therapy, as compared with placebo, was associated with a significantly higher rate of improvement in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (43% vs. 19%, P=0.001), but the difference in the rate of improvement with pioglitazone as compared with placebo was not significant (34% and 19%, respectively; P=0.04). Serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferase levels were reduced with vitamin E and with pioglitazone, as compared with placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons), and both agents were associated with reductions in hepatic steatosis (P=0.005 for vitamin E and P<0.001 for pioglitazone) and lobular inflammation (P=0.02 for vitamin E and P=0.004 for pioglitazone) but not with improvement in fibrosis scores (P=0.24 for vitamin E and P=0.12 for pioglitazone). Subjects who received pioglitazone gained more weight than did those who received vitamin E or placebo; the rates of other side effects were similar among the three groups. Vitamin E was superior to placebo for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in adults without diabetes. There was no benefit of pioglitazone over placebo for the primary outcome; however, significant benefits of pioglitazone were observed for some of the secondary outcomes. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00063622.) 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology
                Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol
                Springer Nature
                1759-5045
                1759-5053
                May 10 2017
                May 10 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/nrgastro.2017.38
                28487545
                © 2017

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