This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of intracellular mechanisms underlying programmed cell death in hepatic ischemia / reperfusion injury. A range of molecules have been tested with the intention to block the pathways of programmed cell death at different levels and to thereby enhance viability of the liver in surgical procedures including liver transplantation. Cellular death receptors, the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis, p53, mitogen- activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and intracellular proteases all present potential targets for pharmaceutical agents to prevent ischemia induced cell death in the liver. Although evidence has been provided for effective inhibition of injury and improvement of survival by such agents, an optimal treatment strategy remains to be developed.
Keywords: Liver, transplantation, surgery, apoptosis, ischemia
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