Research into liver injuries, including fatty liver disease, has been advancing quickly in recent years. It is now widely recognized that hepatic stellate cells play an essential role in both maintaining liver homeostasis and the progression of liver injury. Find out about the current state of stellate cell research below.
The Role of Healthy Stellate Cells
Much of the current research landscape focuses on the role of stellate cells in pathogenesis. However, according to realtimecampaign.com, it’s just as important to understand how they operate in healthy livers. They remain in a quiescent state in normal livers, and in this state, the primary role of stellate cells is to store retinoids.
The Activation of Stellate Cells
When stellate cells are activated through poisoning, infection, or other injuries, they release retinoids. Pancreatic stellate cells promote cancer cell proliferation, tumor growth, while liver stellate cell activation typically contributes to fibrosis. Currently, it is unclear whether the activation of stellate cells is the only contributing factor to the development of fibrosis. Many researchers believe that other fibroblastic liver cells may also play a contributory role.
The Potential Role of Stellate Cells in Therapeutic Applications
Historically, the research into stellate cells focused on their transition from a quiescent to an activated state and how it contributed to chronic liver injury. More recently, though, it has also been discovered that activated stellate cells can become quiescent again in certain circumstances. This novel discovery holds a lot of promise in developing new treatments for people suffering from liver fibrosis.
In order to continue research into this fascinating and potentially life-saving discovery, researchers need access to both healthy and pathogenic stellate cells. LifeNet Health provides access to both.
Research teams interested in contributing to the current state of knowledge regarding liver stellate cells and their transition from an activated to a quiescent state can visit this helpful site.
Ongoing Questions Surrounding The Functional Role of Activated Stellate Cells
Despite impressive strides forward in the scientific understanding of stellate cells and their role in pathogenesis, there are still many questions surrounding the functional role of these cells in the development of liver injury. Researchers continue to perform animal studies regarding the activation and quiescence of stellate cells, as there is still much to be discovered. Currently, most of the attention in the field is going to a novel cluster of cells that researchers believe may play a critical role not just in liver regeneration but also in immune reactions and vascular remodeling.
Paths Forward for Research Into Chronic Liver Injuries
There are plenty of ways for research teams to continue contributing to the general scientific understanding of stellate cells, the functional role of their activation in the development of liver injuries, and their potential therapeutic applications. Most research in 2022 focuses on the transitional pathway from activated stellate cells to myofibroblasts as an injury response. Future research is likely to continue along those lines, but may also be extended to study the transition of stellate cells from an activated to a quiescent state.