Hepatic stellate cell - myofibroblast transition: cellular basis for the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis.

  • Geerts, Albert, (Administrative Promotor)

Project Details


Liver fibrosis is the result of chronic liver damage, it is characterized by excessive accumulation of connective tissue. In healthy liver, hepatic stellate cels: and to a lesser extent parenchymal and endothelial cells, are responsible for intrahepatic connective tissue synthesis. Under pathological conditions, stellate cells transdifferentiate into myofibroblast-like cells that proliferate and secrete large quantities of connective tissue. Within the general theme of our research group the following subjects are currently investigated: 1) suppresion of stellate cell - myofibroblast transition by histon deacetylase inhibitors, 2) role of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, 2) role of histone deacetylases in transdifferentiation of hepatic stellate cells, 3) role of RAR/RXR and PPAR nuclear receptors in stellate cel transdiffernetiation, 4) function of H2O2 in regulation of the autocrine TGF-B-loop, 5) function of intermediate filament proteins desmin, GFAP and nestin in stellate cells, 6) induction of portal hypertension by contraction of activated stellate cells. Projects 3,4 en 5 were funded by OZR grant nr. 196332120.
Effective start/end date1/01/0031/12/03


  • connective tissue research
  • hepatic fibrosis
  • hepatology
  • hepatic stellate cells
  • cellular and molecular biology
  • cirrhosis

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences