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Are Liver Pericytes Just Precursors of Myofibroblasts in Hepatic Diseases? Insights from the Crosstalk between Perivascular and Inflammatory Cells in Liver Injury and Repair

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PPGBioSaúde and School of Medicine, Lutheran University of Brazil, Av. Farroupilha 8001, 92425-900 Canoas, RS, Brazil
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PPGBioSaúde, Lutheran University of Brazil, Av. Farroupilha 8001, 92425-900 Canoas, RS, Brazil
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Institute of Cardiology of Rio Grande do Sul, Av Princesa Isabel 370, 90620-001 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(1), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010188
Received: 30 November 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 11 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Liver Repair Strategies)
Cirrhosis, a late form of liver disease, is characterized by extensive scarring due to exacerbated secretion of extracellular matrix proteins by myofibroblasts that develop during this process. These myofibroblasts arise mainly from hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), liver-specific pericytes that become activated at the onset of liver injury. Consequently, HSCs tend to be viewed mainly as myofibroblast precursors in a fibrotic process driven by inflammation. Here, the molecular interactions between liver pericytes and inflammatory cells such as macrophages and neutrophils at the first moments after injury and during the healing process are brought into focus. Data on HSCs and pericytes from other tissues indicate that these cells are able to sense pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns and have an important proinflammatory role in the initial stages of liver injury. On the other hand, further data suggest that as the healing process evolves, activated HSCs play a role in skewing the initial proinflammatory (M1) macrophage polarization by contributing to the emergence of alternatively activated, pro-regenerative (M2-like) macrophages. Finally, data suggesting that some HSCs activated during liver injury could behave as hepatic progenitor or stem cells will be discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: perivascular cells; pericytes; hepatic stellate cells; inflammation; macrophages; Kupffer cells; liver injury; liver diseases perivascular cells; pericytes; hepatic stellate cells; inflammation; macrophages; Kupffer cells; liver injury; liver diseases
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da Silva Meirelles, L.; Marson, R.F.; Solari, M.I.G.; Nardi, N.B. Are Liver Pericytes Just Precursors of Myofibroblasts in Hepatic Diseases? Insights from the Crosstalk between Perivascular and Inflammatory Cells in Liver Injury and Repair. Cells 2020, 9, 188.

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