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Hepatic stellate cells: role in microcirculation and pathophysiology of portal hypertension
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  1. H Reynaert1,
  2. M G Thompson2,
  3. T Thomas2,
  4. A Geerts3
  1. 1Laboratory for Molecular Liver Cell Biology, Free University Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium
  2. 2Department of Medical Cell Biology and Centre for Liver Research, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  3. 3Laboratory for Molecular Liver Cell Biology, Free University Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium and Department of Medical Cell Biology and Centre for Liver Research, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    H Reynaert, Department of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University Hospital Free University of Brussels (AZ-VUB), Laarbeeklaan 101, B-1090 Brussels, Belgium;
    Hendrik.Reynaert{at}az.vub.ac.be

Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that stellate cells are involved in the regulation of the liver microcirculation and portal hypertension. Activated hepatic stellate cells have the necessary machinery to contract or relax in response to a number of vasoactive substances. Because stellate cells play a role in both fibrosis and portal hypertension, they are currently regarded as therapeutic targets to prevent and treat the complications of chronic liver disease.

  • liver
  • hepatic stellate cells
  • portal hypertension
  • ANP, atrial natriuretic peptide
  • cAMP, cyclic adenosine monophosphate
  • cGMP, cyclic guanosine monophosphate
  • [Ca2+]i
  • intracellular Ca2+
  • DAG, diacylglycerol
  • ET-1, endothelin-1
  • ETA/B, endothelin receptor A/B
  • FAK, focal adhesion kinase
  • cGMP, cyclic guanosine monophosphate
  • HO, haeme oxygenase
  • HSC, hepatic stellate cells
  • IP3, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate
  • LPA, lysophosphatidic acid
  • PA, phosphatidic acid
  • NO, nitric oxide
  • NOS, nitric oxide synthetase
  • MLC, myosin light chain
  • PI(3)K, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase
  • PIP2, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate
  • PLC, phospholipase C
  • PLD, phospholipase D
  • PKC, protein kinase C
  • ANGII, angiotensin II
  • AT1, type 1 angiotensin receptor
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