Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2013, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 233-236.doi: 10.1016/S1001-9294(14)60008-0

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Roles of the Lipid Metabolism in Hepatic Stellate Cells Activation

Xin-yan Jing1, Xue-feng Yang1, *, Kai Qing2, Yan Ou-Yang3   

  1. 1Department of Gastroenterology, Affiliated Nanhua Hospital of University of South China, Hengyang, Hunan 421000, China;2Department of Hematology, 3Department of Nephrology, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200025, China
  • Received:2013-06-07 Published:2013-12-31 Online:2013-12-31
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The lipids present in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) lipid droplets include retinyl ester, triglyceride, cholesteryl ester, cholesterol, phospholipids and free fatty acids. Activation of HSCs is crucial to the development of fibrosis in liver disease. During activation, HSCs transform into myofibroblasts with concomitant loss of their lipid droplets and production of excessive extracellular matrix. Release of lipid droplets containing retinyl esters and triglyceride is a defining feature of activated HSCs. Accumulating evidence supports the proposal that recovering the accumulation of lipids would inhibit the activation of HSCs. In healthy liver, quiescent HSCs store 80% of total liver retinols and release them depending on the extracellular retinol status. However, in injured liver activated HSCs lose their retinols and produce a considerable amount of extracellular matrix, subsequently leading to liver fibrosis. Further findings prove that lipid metabolism of HSCs is closely associated with its activation, yet relationship between activated HSCs and the lipid metabolism has remained mysterious.

Key words: hepatic stellate cells, vitamin A, triglyceride, cholesterol, cell activation


△Partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81373465).

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