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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2014, Article ID 373295, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/373295
Review Article

Liver Fibrosis and Protection Mechanisms Action of Medicinal Plants Targeting Apoptosis of Hepatocytes and Hepatic Stellate Cells

1Catedra de Terapia Celular, Escuela de Medicina, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Avenida Morones Prieto 3000 Pte., 64710 Monterrey, NL, Mexico
2Centro de Enfermedades Hepáticas-Digestivas y Nutrición, Hospital San José, Avenida Morones Prieto 3000, 64710 Monterrey, NL, Mexico

Received 22 September 2014; Accepted 29 October 2014; Published 20 November 2014

Academic Editor: Eduardo Munoz

Copyright © 2014 Florent Duval et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Following chronic liver injury, hepatocytes undergo apoptosis leading to activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC). Consequently, activated HSC proliferate and produce excessive extracellular matrix, responsible for the scar formation. The pandemic trend of obesity, combined with the high incidence of alcohol intake and viral hepatitis infections, highlights the urgent need to find accessible antifibrotic therapies. Treatment strategies should take into account the versatility of its pathogenesis and act on all the cell lines involved to reduce liver fibrosis. Medicinal plants are achieving popularity as antifibrotic agents, supported by their safety, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. This review will describe the role of hepatocytes and HSC in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and detail the mechanisms of modulation of apoptosis of both cell lines by twelve known hepatoprotective plants in order to reduce liver fibrosis.