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Hepatic stellate cells and innate immunity in alcoholic liver disease

Author(s): Yang-Gun Suh | Won-Il Jeong

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology
ISSN 1007-9327

Volume: 17;
Issue: 20;
Start page: 2543;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Alcoholic liver disease | Hepatic stellate cell | Natural killer cell | Kupffer cell | Endocannabinoid | Steatosis | Steatohepatitis | Fibrosis

Constant alcohol consumption is a major cause of chronic liver disease, and there has been a growing concern regarding the increased mortality rates worldwide. Alcoholic liver diseases (ALDs) range from mild to more severe conditions, such as steatosis, steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The liver is enriched with innate immune cells (e.g. natural killer cells and Kupffer cells) and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and interestingly, emerging evidence suggests that innate immunity contributes to the development of ALDs (e.g. steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis). Indeed, HSCs play a crucial role in alcoholic steatosis via production of endocannabinoid and retinol metabolites. This review describes the roles of the innate immunity and HSCs in the pathogenesis of ALDs, and suggests therapeutic targets and strategies to assist in the reduction of ALD.
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