The Role of Dendritic Cells in Fibrosis Progression in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent cause of chronic liver disease. NAFLD encompasses a wide range of pathologies, from simple steatosis to steatosis with inflammation to fibrosis. The pathogenesis of NAFLD progression has not been completely elucidated, and different liver cells could be implicated. This review focuses on the current evidence of the role of liver dendritic cells (DCs) in the progression from NAFLD to fibrosis. Liver DCs are a heterogeneous population of hepatic antigen-presenting cells; their main function is to induce T-cell mediated immunity by antigen processing and presentation to T cells. During the steady state liver DCs are immature and tolerogenic. However, in an environment of chronic inflammation, DCs are transformed to potent inducers of immune responses. There is evidence about the role of DC in liver fibrosis, but it is not clearly understood. Interestingly, there might be a link between lipid metabolism and DC function, suggesting that immunogenic DCs are associated with liver lipid storage, representing a possible pathophysiological mechanism in NAFLD development. A better understanding of the interaction between inflammatory pathways and the different cell types and the effect on the progression of NAFLD is of great relevance.

Authors: Almeda-Valdes P, Aguilar Olivos NE, Barranco-Fragoso B, Uribe M, Méndez-Sánchez N. ;Full Source: Biomedical Research International. 2015;2015:768071. doi: 10.1155/2015/768071. Epub 2015 Aug 3. ;