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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 768071, 7 pages
Review Article

The Role of Dendritic Cells in Fibrosis Progression in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

1Endocrinology and Metabolism Department, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, 14080 Mexico, DF, Mexico
2Liver Research Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, 14050 Mexico, DF, Mexico
3Department of Gastroenterology, National Medical Center “20 Noviembre”, 03229 Mexico, DF, Mexico

Received 26 February 2015; Revised 1 June 2015; Accepted 14 June 2015

Academic Editor: Jantje M. Gerdes

Copyright © 2015 Paloma Almeda-Valdes 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.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent cause of chronic liver disease. NAFLD encompasses a wide range of pathologies, from simple steatosis to steatosis with inflammation to fibrosis. The pathogenesis of NAFLD progression has not been completely elucidated, and different liver cells could be implicated. This review focuses on the current evidence of the role of liver dendritic cells (DCs) in the progression from NAFLD to fibrosis. Liver DCs are a heterogeneous population of hepatic antigen-presenting cells; their main function is to induce T-cell mediated immunity by antigen processing and presentation to T cells. During the steady state liver DCs are immature and tolerogenic. However, in an environment of chronic inflammation, DCs are transformed to potent inducers of immune responses. There is evidence about the role of DC in liver fibrosis, but it is not clearly understood. Interestingly, there might be a link between lipid metabolism and DC function, suggesting that immunogenic DCs are associated with liver lipid storage, representing a possible pathophysiological mechanism in NAFLD development. A better understanding of the interaction between inflammatory pathways and the different cell types and the effect on the progression of NAFLD is of great relevance.