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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 436242, 8 pages
Review Article

Autophagy in Hepatic Fibrosis

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Shanghai Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 389 Xincun Road, Shanghai 200065, China
2Regeneration Lab and Experimental Center of Life Sciences, School of Life Science, Shanghai University, 333 Nan Chen Road, Shanghai 200444, China
3Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
4Shanghai Key Laboratory of Bio-Energy Crops, School of Life Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China

Received 29 July 2013; Revised 18 January 2014; Accepted 21 January 2014; Published 23 March 2014

Academic Editor: Hartmut Jaeschke

Copyright © 2014 Yang Song 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.


Hepatic fibrosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Hepatic fibrosis is usually associated with chronic liver diseases caused by infection, drugs, metabolic disorders, or autoimmune imbalances. Effective clinical therapies are still lacking. Autophagy is a cellular process that degrades damaged organelles or protein aggregation, which participates in many pathological processes including liver diseases. Autophagy participates in hepatic fibrosis by activating hepatic stellate cells and may participate as well through influencing other fibrogenic cells. Besides that, autophagy can induce some liver diseases to develop while it may play a protective role in hepatocellular abnormal aggregates related liver diseases and reduces fibrosis. With a better understanding of the potential effects of autophagy on hepatic fibrosis, targeting autophagy might be a novel therapeutic strategy for hepatic fibrosis in the near future.