Hepatic fibrosis: cellular aspects

Bissell, D.M.

Italian Journal of Gastroenterology 22(2): 83-87


ISSN/ISBN: 0392-0623
PMID: 2131938
Document Number: 366295
The space of Disse in the liver contains ECM proteins that have the function of - and may constitute- a low-density basement membrane. Specific functions of both hepatocytes and lipocytes appear to depend on the type of ECM in contact with these cells. The ECM of the space of Disse is altered in inflammation with deposition of ectopic proteins and degradation of normal constituents. Activation of lipocytes is a central event and responsible for the elaboration of an abnormal ECM; lipocytes also secrete a matrix proteinase. From the available clinical and experimental data, the deterioration of hepatocellular function associated with fibrosis may be ascribed, in part, to loss of the biologic support provided by a normal ECM.

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