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Hedgehog signalling in liver pathophysiology

  • Mariana Verdelho Machado
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA

    Gastroenterology Department, Hospital de Santa Maria, CHLN, Lisbon, Portugal
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  • Anna Mae Diehl
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, 905 S. LaSalle Street, Snyderman Building, Suite 1073, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
    Search for articles by this author
Published:October 26, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2017.10.017

      Summary

      Liver disease remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide despite recent successes in the field of viral hepatitis, because increases in alcohol consumption and obesity are fuelling an epidemic of chronic fatty liver disease for which there are currently no effective medical therapies. About 20% of individuals with chronic liver injury ultimately develop end-stage liver disease due to cirrhosis. Hence, treatments to prevent and reverse cirrhosis in individuals with ongoing liver injury are desperately needed. The development of successful treatments requires an improved understanding of the mechanisms controlling liver disease progression. The liver responds to diverse insults with a conserved wound healing response, suggesting that it might be generally beneficial to optimise pathways that are crucial for effective liver repair. The Hedgehog pathway has emerged as a potential target based on compelling preclinical and clinical data, which demonstrate that it critically regulates the liver’s response to injury. Herein, we will summarise evidence of the Hedgehog pathway’s role in liver disease and discuss how modulating pathway activity might be applied to improve liver disease outcomes.

      Keywords

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