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Hepatic PPARs: Their Role in Liver Physiology, Fibrosis and Treatment

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Complex molecular and cellular mechanisms are involved in the pathway of liver fibrosis. Activation and transformation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are considered the two main reasons for the cause and development of liver fibrosis. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) belonging to the family of ligand-activated transcription factors play a key role in liver homeostasis, regulating adipogenesis and inhibiting fibrogenesis in HSCs. Normal transcriptional function of PPARs contributes to maintain HSCs in quiescent phase. A reduced expression of PPARs in HSCs greatly induces a progression of liver fibrosis and an increased production of collagen. Here, we discuss role and function of PPARs and we take into consideration molecular factors able to reduce PPARs activity in HSCs. Finally, although further validations are needed, we illustrate novel strategies available from in vitro and animal studies on how some PPARs-agonists have been proved effective as antifibrotic substances in liver disease.

Keywords: Cytokines; HSCs; PPARs; antifbrotic therapy; genes; ligands; liver fibrosis; microcirculation; transcription factors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-09-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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