Liver zonation: Novel aspects of its regulation and its impact on homeostasis


Liver zonation, the spatial separation of the immense spectrum of different metabolic pathways along the liver sinusoids, is fundamental for proper functioning of this organ. Recent progress in elucidating localization and interactions of different metabolic pathways by using "omics" techniques and novel approaches to couple them with refined spatial resolution and in characterizing novel master regulators of zonation by using transgenic mice has created the basis for a deeper understanding of core mechanisms of zonation and their impact on liver physiology, pathology and metabolic diseases. This review summarizes the fascinating technical achievements for investigating liver zonation and the elucidation of an emerging network of master regulators of zonation that keep the plethora of interrelated and sometimes opposing functions of the liver in balance with nutritional supply and specific requirements of the entire body. In addition, a brief overview is given on newly described zonated functions and novel details on how diverse the segmentation of metabolic zonation may be. From these facts and developments a few fundamental principles are inferred which seem to rule zonation of liver parenchyma. In addition, we identify important questions that still need to be answered as well as interesting fields of research such as the connection of zonation with circadian rhythm and gender dimorphism which need to be pushed further, in order to improve our understanding of metabolic zonation. Finally, an outlook is given on how disturbance of liver zonation and its regulation may impact on liver pathology and the development of metabolic diseases.


Projects: C3: Zonation of metabolism and its regulation, Virtual Liver

World J. Gastroenterol.
World J. Gastroenterol. 20(26): 8491-504
16th Jul 2014

Rolf Gebhardt, Madlen Matz-Soja

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[Rolf Gebhardt] [Madlen Matz-Soja]

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Views: 1380
  • Created: 26th Jan 2015 at 09:50

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