Cholesterol: recapitulation of its active role during liver regeneration

Authors

  • Blanca Delgado-Coello,

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Estructural, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F. Mexico
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  • Marco A. Briones-Orta,

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Estructural, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F. Mexico
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    • *Present address: Lincoln's Inn Fields Laboratories, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, London, UK.

  • Marina Macías-Silva,

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Estructural, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F. Mexico
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  • Jaime Mas-Oliva

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Estructural, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F. Mexico
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Jaime Mas-Oliva, MD, PhD, Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Estructural, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-243, C.P. 04510 México, D.F. Mexico.
Tel: +5255 5622 5584/5622 5619
Fax: +5255 5622 5611
e-mail: jmas@ifc.unam.mx

Abstract

Liver regeneration is a compensatory hyperplasia produced by several stimuli that promotes proliferation in order to provide recovery of the liver mass and architecture. This process involves complex signalling cascades that receive feedback from autocrine and paracrine pathways, recognized by parenchymal as well as non-parenchymal cells. Nowadays the dynamic role of lipids in biological processes is widely recognized; however, a systematic analysis of their importance during liver regeneration is still missing. Therefore, in this review we address the role of lipids including the bioactive ones such as sphingolipids, but with special emphasis on cholesterol. Cholesterol is not only considered as a structural component but also as a relevant lipid involved in the control of the intermediate metabolism of different liver cell types such as hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells and Kupffer cells. Cholesterol plays a significant role at the level of specific membrane domains, as well as modulating the expression of sterol-dependent proteins. Moreover, several enzymes related to the catabolism of cholesterol and whose activity is down regulated are related to the protection of liver tissue from toxicity during the process of regeneration. This review puts in perspective the necessity to study and understand the basic mechanisms involving lipids during the process of liver regeneration. On the other hand, the knowledge acquired in this area in the past years, can be considered invaluable in order to provide further insights into processes such as general organogenesis and several liver-related pathologies, including steatosis and fibrosis.

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