Ross Hall #737
Hidekazu Tsukamoto, DVM, Ph.D, FAASLD
Professor of Pathology and Center Director
Southern California Research Center for ALPD and Cirrhosis
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the major mesenchymal cell type in the liver known for several physiologic functions such as vitamin A storage, controlling liver sinusoidal blood flow as the pericyte, and facilitating the mesenchymal-epithelial interaction in the homeostasis of the liver parenchymal cells. In wound response, HSCs trans-differentiate to myofibroblastic cells to participate in liver fibrogenesis. Studies on the embryonic origin and cell fate of HSCs in adult liver wound response, have shed critical insights into the importance of HSC fate in liver fibrogenesis and tumor development. To this end, our laboratory has established the concept of adipogenic transcriptional regulation key to the HSC differentiation and the roles of the morphogens in epigenetic repression of such regulation in HSC trans-differentiation. Recent evidence suggests the involvement of morphogens such as WNT and DLK1 in HSC-promoted liver regeneration and lipid reprogramming in support of liver tumor development.