Published online Jan 27, 2021. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v13.i1.6
Peer-review started: July 9, 2020
First decision: October 6, 2020
Revised: December 10, 2020
Accepted: December 26, 2020
Article in press: December 26, 2020
Published online: January 27, 2021
Core Tip: Extensive investigation of autophagy is mostly based on experimental data. However there is now enough evidence to support the notion that autophagy is not only the waste recycling mechanism of the hepatocyte, but is strongly involved in the pathogenesis of almost all liver diseases. It can be either a defensive mechanism against various insults or a detrimental machinery aggravating the underlying disease. Modulation of autophagy has different consequences in the hepatocyte than in the liver macrophages, the sinusoidal endothelium or the hepatic stellate cells. There is also an opportunity for future treatment applications of autophagy manipulation.