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What are the Roles for Chemokines in Liver Disease?

Sustained hepatic inflammation contributes to the progression of chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis C and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. In the September issue of Gastroenterology, Fabio Marra and Frank Tacke review the roles of chemokines in liver inflammation and disease progression.

In the liver, chemokines regulate the migration and activities of hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, hepatic stellate cells, endothelial cells, and circulating immune cells.

Chemokine pathways that induce liver inflammation
Chemokine pathways that induce liver inflammation. Kupffer cells release inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL1) and chemokines (CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL8, CXCL16, CCL2) that initiate the acute phase response, attracting neutrophils (via CXCR1/CXCR2), NKT cells (via CXCR6), and inflammatory monocytes (via CCR2).

Marra and Tacke discuss the roles of different chemokines and their receptors  in the pathogenesis of liver diseases such as viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver diseasealcoholic liver disease, and liver and biliary cancers.

The authors discuss the potential use of chemokines as biomarkers andtherapeutic targets. They state that agents designed to target chemokine pathways are being developed and tested in clinical trials, and could improve treatment options for chronic liver diseases.

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Kristine Novak

Kristine Novak

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About The Author:

Dr. Kristine Novak

Dr. Kristine Novak

Dr. Kristine Novak is a science writer and editor based in San Francisco. She has extensive experience covering gastroenterology, hepatology, immunology, oncology, clinical, and biotechnology research discoveries.

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