Stellate Cell Markers




Hepatic stellate cells, also known as Ito cells, are pericytes found in the perisinusoidal space (a small area between the sinusoids and hepatocytes) of the liver. The stellate cell is the major cell type involved in liver fibrosis, which is the formation of scar tissue in response to liver damage.


hepatic stellate cells, HSCs

pancreatic stellate cells, PSCs

folliculo-stellate cells, FSCs


In neuroscience, stellate cells are inhibitory interneurons found within the molecular layer of the cerebellum.




alpha-SMA (smooth muscle actin, alpha)

  • a reliable marker of hepatic stellate cells activation which precedes fibrous tissue deposition even in the setting of recurrent HCV chronic hepatitis after liver transplantation, and it could be useful to identify the earliest stages of hepatic fibrosis and monitoring the efficacy of the therapy. PMID: 15843085

  • This study showed the existance of two different stellate cell subpopulations in liver tissue. Differentiation between them was possible on the basis of SMA/GFAP expression. PMID: 16796020

  • a marker of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) activation. PMID: 13678692


  • modulates the activation of stellate cells and that integrity of the redox sensor Cys(43) in c-Myb is required for this effect. PMID: 10666057

CRP2 (cysteine- and glycine-rich protein 2)

  • a novel marker of hepatic stellate cells and binding partner of the protein inhibitor of activated STAT1. PMID: 11672422


  • a stellate cell marker. PMID: 11197537, PMID: 3783322

  • Increased desmin synthesis and formation of desmin-containing intermediate filaments (IFs) is one of the hallmarks of transdifferentiation of hepatic stellate cells into myofibroblast-like cells. PMID: 11124834

FAP (Fibroblast Activation Protein)

  • identifies a Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) subpopulation at the tissue-remodelling interface that is related to the severity of liver fibrosis. PMID: 12028401

  • expressed only by activated hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and myofibroblasts, which produce and degrade extracellular matrix (ECM). PMID: 16175601

  • a cell surface dipeptidyl peptidase and gelatinase expressed by stellate cells at the tissue remodelling interface in human cirrhosis. PMID: 10347120


  • an early marker of stellate cells activation in liver. PMID: 16536051

  • GFAP is suggested as a more reliable marker for perisinusoidal stellate cells (PSC) than desmin. PMID: 8738416

  • a marker of perisinusoidal stellate cells that can distinguish between the normal and myofibroblast-like phenotypes. PMID: 9004488

  • established as one of the several makers for identifying hepatic stellate cells (HSC). PMID: 16521185

  • can be regarded as a marker protein of pituicytes and folliculo-stellate (FS) cells, which is expressed at varying degrees. PMID: 2722564


  • closely associated with activation of hepatic stellate cells in vitro and in vivo, may serve as a marker of hepatic stellate cell activation. PMID: 9560286


  • a novel marker of activated human hepatic stellate cells. PMID: 11097483

  • prion-related protein (PrP) expression is closely related to stellate cell activation associated with fibrogenic stimuli. PMID: 9846959


  • a novel marker for the differentiation of Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) from other liver myofibroblasts. PMID: 11983443

  • a glycoprotein secreted by Cajal-Retzius cells, is crucial for cortex lamination and cell positioning, is also detected in stellate (Ito) cells of the liver as shown by immunoelectron microscopic examination. PMID: 15912522

  • the only marker presently available to distinguish Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) at any stage of differentiation from rat liver myofibroblasts (rMF). PMID: 11983443

  • also expressed by a variety of neurons in the adult pallium, including large stellate and modified pyramidal neurons. PMID: 11173219




  • intermediate filament (IF) proteins present in stellate cells. PMID: 11124834

  • a specific intermediate filament protein, detected in the cytoplasm of stellate-shaped cells scattered throughout the pituitary pars distalis of the rat, cat and rabbit. PMID: 2471422


  • a novel marker for quiescent and activated hepatic stellate cells in human and rat livers. PMID: 12719976