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The Role of Autophagy in Liver Epithelial Cells and Its Impact on Systemic Homeostasis

Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic Medicine and Orthopedic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy
Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata, IDI-IRCCS, 00167 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 827;
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver, Oxidative Stress and Metabolic Syndromes)
PDF [8575 KB, uploaded 21 April 2019]


Autophagy plays a role in several physiological and pathological processes as it controls the turnover rate of cellular components and influences cellular homeostasis. The liver plays a central role in controlling organisms’ metabolism, regulating glucose storage, plasma proteins and bile synthesis and the removal of toxic substances. Liver functions are particularly sensitive to autophagy modulation. In this review we summarize studies investigating how autophagy influences the hepatic metabolism, focusing on fat accumulation and lipids turnover. We also describe how autophagy affects bile production and the scavenger function within the complex homeostasis of the liver. We underline the role of hepatic autophagy in counteracting the metabolic syndrome and the associated cardiovascular risk. Finally, we highlight recent reports demonstrating how the autophagy occurring within the liver may affect skeletal muscle homeostasis as well as different extrahepatic solid tumors, such as melanoma. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; liver; lipid droplets; metabolism; oxidative stress; cancer autophagy; liver; lipid droplets; metabolism; oxidative stress; cancer

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Tomaipitinca, L.; Mandatori, S.; Mancinelli, R.; Giulitti, F.; Petrungaro, S.; Moresi, V.; Facchiano, A.; Ziparo, E.; Gaudio, E.; Giampietri, C. The Role of Autophagy in Liver Epithelial Cells and Its Impact on Systemic Homeostasis. Nutrients 2019, 11, 827.

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