Published online May 27, 2019. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v11.i5.412
Peer-review started: February 25, 2019
First decision: April 22, 2019
Revised: May 14, 2019
Accepted: May 21, 2019
Article in press: May 21, 2019
Published online: May 27, 2019
Core tip: Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rare life-threatening disease with a high mortality rate and is characterized by massive hepatocyte death and overactivation of hepatic inflammation. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) play both protective and promotive roles during the pathogenesis of ALF: HSC activation participates in the maintenance of cell attachment and the architecture of liver tissue via extracellular matrix production and assists liver regeneration by producing growth factors; and HSC inflammation plays a role in relaying inflammation signaling from sinusoids to parenchyma via secretion of inflammatory cytokines. A better understanding of roles of HSCs in ALF will lead to improvements for treating ALF patients.