Inflammation Research

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 249–254 | Cite as

The significance of YKL-40 protein in liver fibrosis

  • Hui Tao
  • Jing-Jing Yang
  • Kai-Hu Shi
  • Cheng Huang
  • Lei Zhang
  • Xiong-Wen Lv
  • Jun Li



The aims of this review are to describe the present knowledge about YKL-40 protein, discuss its relation to liver fibrosis, and to look ahead at future perspectives of YKL-40 research.


Liver fibrosis is characterized by excess collagen deposition, decreased extracellular matrix degradation and activation of hepatic stellate cells. Therefore, advancement in the identification of liver fibrosis biomarkers with diagnostic and prognostic values becomes an important tool for future molecular therapy. The molecular basis of YKL-40 in liver fibrosis is unknown.


A PubMed database search was performed for studies of YKL-40 in liver injury and fibrosis.

Results and conclusions

YKL-40 is an inflammatory glycoprotein involved in endothelial dysfunction by promoting chemotaxis, cell attachment and migration, reorganization, and tissue remodeling as a response to endothelial damage. Several studies demonstrate that elevated serum YKL-levels are independently associated with the presence of endothelial damage and even higher YKL-40 levels are documented in liver fibrosis. YKL-40 may play a key role in liver injury and fibrosis.


YKL-40 Liver fibrosis Hepatic stellate cell Extracellular matrix 



Extracellular matrix


α-smooth muscle actin


Hepatic stellate cells


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ



This project was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (NO 81273526, 81202978), and by the Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (1308085MH117).

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryThe Second Hospital of Anhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina
  2. 2.Cardiovascular Research CenterAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina
  3. 3.School of PharmacyAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina
  4. 4.Department of PharmacologyThe Second Hospital of Anhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina

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