Liver fibrosis is a wound healing response initiated by inflammation responding for different iterative parenchymal damages caused by diverse etiologies. Immune cells, which exert their ability of either inducing injury or promoting repair, have been regarded as crucial participants in the fibrogenic response. A characteristic feature of the fibrotic microenvironment associated with chronic liver injury is aberrant activation of hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Growing evidence from a number of different studies in vivo and in vitro has indicated that immune-mediated events involved in liver fibrogenesis are regulated by Hh signaling pathway. In this review, we emphasize the impacts of injury-activated Hh signaling on liver fibrogenesis through modulating repair-related inflammation and focus on the regulatory action of aberrant Hh signaling on repair-related inflammatory responses mediated by hepatic classical and non-classical immune cell populations in the progression of liver fibrosis. Moreover, we also assess the potentiality of Hh pathway inhibitors as good candidates for anti-fibrotic therapeutic agents because of their immune regulation actions for fibrogenic liver repair. The identification of immune-modulatory mechanisms of Hh signaling pathway underlying the fibrotic process of chronic liver diseases might provide a basis for Hh-centered therapeutic strategies for liver fibrosis.
Shen, X., Peng, Y., & Li, H. (2017, November 6). The injury-related activation of hedgehog signaling pathway modulates the repair-associated inflammation in liver fibrosis. Frontiers in Immunology. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01450