Published online Nov 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i42.12114
Peer-review started: March 22, 2015
First decision: April 13, 2015
Revised: April 28, 2015
Accepted: September 30, 2015
Article in press: September 30, 2015
Published online: November 14, 2015
Core tip: Induction of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) modulates the progression of liver damage such as ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and acute allograft rejection. The high incidence of biliary complications, after liver transplantation, is due to a cascade of events leading to biliary lesions to which cholangiocytes are particularly susceptible. This paper, while focusing on liver I/R and cholestasis, reviews factors and mechanisms implicated in MMP activation/regulation together with the role of MMPs in biliary complications following I/R injury. Recent data support the view that MMPs play a dual role, both good and bad, in liver I/R depending on the length of time after damage.