Based on the available formation, apoptosis is clearly playing an important role in the pathophysiology of human liver diseases. An increased rat of apoptosis involving many different mediators, such as Fas, TNF-alpha, TGF-beta 1, and members of the Bcl-2 family is contributing to the liver injury seen in a variety of diseases, including viral hepatitis, cholestatic disorders, and alcoholic liver disease. A reduction of apoptosis should therefore be beneficial in these diseases and the goal for future drug development. On the other hand, dysregulation of apoptotic processes protects malignant hepatocytes from cellular suicide. Specific induction of apoptosis might therefore be a new option for the prevention and treatment of HCC.
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