Investigation of pro-fibrogenic pericyte subpopulations in the fibrotic liver

University of Edinburgh

Past award

Student: Cecilia Boz : University of Edinburgh

Year Award Started: 2015

Pericytes are cells that wrap around blood vessels throughout the body. Following injury to the liver
pericytes (otherwise known as hepatic stellate cells) become activated, transforming into the key
cell type responsible for liver scarring (fibrosis). It has recently been suggested that there are
subpopulations of pericytes with differing fibrogenic (‘fibrosis-causing’) activity and that liver fibrosis
is actually a reversible process. Furthermore, it has been reported that some fibrogenic pericytes
can undergo reversion to a deactivated state after injury. Therefore studying liver pericyte
subpopulations both during the evolution and resolution of fibrosis, should allow the identification of
the key fibrogenic subpopulations which can be further studied to identify unique attributes and
markers to facilitate specific targeting and generation of new anti-fibrotic treatments for patients
with liver fibrosis.

Research area: Other conditions


Dr Neil Henderson
MRC Centre for Inflammation Research