Korean Journal of Gastroenterology (대한소화기학회지), Vol.37(4) : 227~232, 2001
Excessive production of extracellular matrix(ECM), especially collagen, in the liver can produce hepatic fibrosis, and the repeated hepatic fibrosis by various etiologies may result in liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is the irreversible and terminal state of chronic liver diseases and thus, it is one of the major causes of death in Korea. To block the progress to liver cirrhosis is the main purpose of management for chronic liver diseases. Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) play a key role in the
pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis by producing ECM. The extent of ECM is dependent on the proliferation and activation of HSCs. Therefore, the inhibition of HSC activation is viewed as one of the main ways to block the progress of hepatic fibrosis. Many kinds of experimental animal model with hepatic fibrosis induced by hepatotoxin, alcohol, bile duct ligation, diet and immunologic activation etc. have been produced to investigate the mechanism of hepatic fibrogenesis including HSC activation, ECM production, cytokines and gene expression. In this article, experimental animal models of hepatic fibrogenesis are briefly reviewed.