What is the role of stellate cells in the pathogenesis of cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Stellate cells, located in the perisinusoidal space, are essential for the production of extracellular matrix. Stellate cells, which were once known as Ito cells, lipocytes, or perisinusoidal cells, may become activated into collagen-forming cells by a variety of paracrine factors. Such factors may be released by hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, and sinusoidal endothelium following liver injury. As an example, increased levels of the cytokine transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) are observed in patients with chronic hepatitis C and those with cirrhosis. TGF-beta1, in turn, stimulates activated stellate cells to produce type I collagen.


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