Autoimmune hepatitis is characterized by a progressive destruction of the liver parenchyma and a
chronic fibrosis. Although the major targets of this autoimmune-mediated disease have been identified more than
two decades ago, the current treatment of autoimmune hepatitis is still based on traditional therapies including a
glucocorticoid treatment. One reason for this impasse is the limited availability of reliable animal models that reflect
the clinical features of autoimmune hepatitis and allow for the identification of critical factors driving the
autoimmune destruction and the evaluation of innovative therapies. However, the status of the liver as an immune
privileged organ harbouring many immunosuppressing mechanisms hampers the development of such models.
Here we will review the past and present attempts to develop a consistent animal model for autoimmune hepatitis.
Keywords: Animal model, CYP2D6, immunotherapy, molecular mimicry, virus infection autoantibodies, liver
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport