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Portal hypertension is pathologically defined as increase of portal venous pressure, mainly due to chronic liver diseases such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. In fibrotic liver, activated hepatic stellate cells increase their contraction in response to endothelin-1 (ET-1) via autocrine and paracrine stimulation from liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and injured hepatocytes. Clinical studies are limited with ET receptor antagonists in cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension. Hence, studies are needed to find molecules that block ET-1 synthesis. Accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins in the perisinusoidal space, tissue contraction, and alteration in blood flow are prominent during portal hypertension. Therefore, novel matrix modulators should be tested experimentally as well as in clinical studies. Specifically, tumor necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β1, Wnt, Notch, rho-associated protein kinase 1 signaling antagonists, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α and γ, interferon-γ and sirtuin 1 agonists should be tested elaborately against cirrhosis patients with portal hypertension.


Devaraj Ezhilarasan. Endothelin-1 in portal hypertension: The intricate role of hepatic stellate cells. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.). 2020 Oct;245(16):1504-1512

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PMID: 32791849

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