Hepatic fibrosis is a dynamic process whereby the liver responds to conditions of persistent damage. This leads to deposition of fibrillar extracellular matrix, altered hepatocyte regeneration, deranged microvascular architecture and cirrhosis. Accumulating data demonstrate that obesity and insulin resistance are associated with a more severe and faster progression of the fibrogenic process in different chronic liver diseases, and attention has focused on possible links between the adipose tissue and liver repair. ADIPOCYTOKINEs are cytokines secreted primarily by adipose tissue, they are relevant for adipose tissue physiology and metabolism. Alterations in the adipocytokine pattern are involved in different obesity-related diseases, such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Numerous recent studies have analyzed the role played by adipocytokines in the process of hepatic ‘wound healing’ and fibrogenesis. In particular, data have accumulated on the role of adiponectin and leptin. This review summarizes the more significant and recent findings concerning the role played by different adipocytokines in hepatic fibrogenesis, discussing the actions of adipocytokines on the biology of liver cells, and their effects in different animal models. The variations in the circulating levels and intrahepatic expression of different adipocytokines in patients with fibrogenic liver diseases are also discussed.
Keywords: Fibrosis, hepatic stellate cells, leptin, adiponectin, resistin, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatitis C
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