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Mechanisms Underlying Cell Therapy in Liver Fibrosis: An Overview
Open AccessReview

Natural Sulfur-Containing Compounds: An Alternative Therapeutic Strategy against Liver Fibrosis

1
Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Gastroenterology Unit, School of Medicine, Federico II University, Via Pansini, 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors equally contributed to this work.
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111356
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 26 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
Liver fibrosis is a pathophysiologic process involving the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins as collagen deposition. Advanced liver fibrosis can evolve in cirrhosis, portal hypertension and often requires liver transplantation. At the cellular level, hepatic fibrosis involves the activation of hepatic stellate cells and their transdifferentiation into myofibroblasts. Numerous pro-fibrogenic mediators including the transforming growth factor-β1, the platelet-derived growth factor, endothelin-1, toll-like receptor 4, and reactive oxygen species are key players in this process. Knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying hepatic fibrosis development need to be extended to find novel therapeutic strategies. Antifibrotic therapies aim to inhibit the accumulation of fibrogenic cells and/or prevent the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins. Natural products from terrestrial and marine sources, including sulfur-containing compounds, exhibit promising activities for the treatment of fibrotic pathology. Although many therapeutic interventions are effective in experimental models of liver fibrosis, their efficacy and safety in humans are largely unknown. This review aims to provide a reference collection on experimentally tested natural anti-fibrotic compounds, with particular attention on sulfur-containing molecules. Their chemical structure, sources, mode of action, molecular targets, and pharmacological activity in the treatment of liver disease will be discussed.
Keywords: liver fibrosis; natural products; sulfur-containing compounds; glutathione; sulforaphane; lipoic acid; taurine; ergothioneine; ovothiol; garlic liver fibrosis; natural products; sulfur-containing compounds; glutathione; sulforaphane; lipoic acid; taurine; ergothioneine; ovothiol; garlic
MDPI and ACS Style

Milito, A.; Brancaccio, M.; D’Argenio, G.; Castellano, I. Natural Sulfur-Containing Compounds: An Alternative Therapeutic Strategy against Liver Fibrosis. Cells 2019, 8, 1356.

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