T. Patel, C. Steer, G. Gores
Sep 1, 1999
Our understanding of the mechanisms of apoptosis has dramatically increased over the past few years. This increasing knowledge is being translated into efforts to develop therapeutic strategies for a wide range of human diseases. Although apoptosis has been recognized to occur in the liver for several decades, the role and relevance of apoptosis to human diseases remains undetermined. However, there is accumulating evidence that liver cell apoptosis is involved in viral, toxin, and cholestatic injury to the liver. In addition, there is an increased awareness of the role of apoptosis in several pathophysiological processes relevant to the liver, such as inflammation and fibrogenesis, as well as physiological responses to injury, such as regeneration. Thus, understanding the mechanisms of apoptosis in the liver is highly germane to our understanding of human liver diseases. For these reasons, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases organized a Basic Research Single Topic Conference at Airlie House, Warrenton, VA from June 17 to 20, 1999. The goals of this meeting were to discuss current information on the basic cellular mechanisms of apoptosis; to discuss the role of apoptosis in viral, toxic, metabolic, cholestatic, and malignant diseases; and to explore potential therapeutic opportunities for exploiting this knowledge for the treatment of human liver diseases. After an introduction by the course codirectors to outline the objectives of the meeting, several topics were discussed. These included the mechanisms of apoptosis, apoptosis in liver diseases, carcinogenesis, regeneration, inflammation and fibrogenesis, and therapeutic opportunities.