Liver fibrosis results from an excessive accumulation of tough, fibrous
scar tissue and occurs in most types of chronic liver diseases. In
industrialized countries, the main causes of liver injury leading to
fibrosis include chronic hepatitis virus infection, excess alcohol
consumption and, increasingly, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Now, in a new study published in the journal Cell, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered that a synthetic form of vitamin D,
calcipotriol (a drug already approved by the FDA for the treatment of
psoriasis), deactivates the switch governing the fibrotic response in
mouse liver cells, suggesting a potential new therapy for fibrotic diseases in humans.