Seminars in Immunopathology

, 31:345 | Cite as

Mononuclear cells in liver fibrosis

  • Fabio MarraEmail author
  • Sara Aleffi
  • Sara Galastri
  • Angela Provenzano


Fibrosis is a multicellular wound healing process, where myofibroblasts that express extracellular matrix components extensively cross-talk with other cells resident in the liver or recruited from the bloodstream. Macrophages and infiltrating monocytes participate in the development of fibrosis via several mechanisms, including secretion of cytokines and generation of oxidative stress-related products. However, macrophages are also pivotal in the process of fibrosis resolution, where they contribute to matrix degradation. T lymphocytes modulate the fibrogenic process by direct interaction with myofibroblasts and secreting cytokines. In general, Th2 polarized responses promote fibrosis, while Th1 cytokines may be antifibrogenic. NK cells limit the development of fibrosis and favor its resolution, at least in part via killing of fibrogenic cells. The possible role of NKT cells and B cells is emerging in recent studies. Thus, mononuclear cells represent a critical regulatory system during fibrogenesis and may become an appealing target for therapy.


Liver fibrosis Hepatic stellate cells Kupffer cells Macrophages Monocytes T lymphocytes B lymphocytes NK cells NKT cells Chemokines 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Marra
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sara Aleffi
    • 1
  • Sara Galastri
    • 1
  • Angela Provenzano
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina InternaUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Center for Research, Transfer and Higher Education ‘DenoTHE’University of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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