The PXR (pregnane X receptor) is a nuclear receptor transcription factor that is activated by a range of endobiotics and xenobiotics. The activated PXR modulates the transcription of genes in hepatocytes (the main functional cell of the liver) associated with endobiotic and xenobiotic uptake, metabolism and excretion. However, activation of the PXR also inhibits a deleterious response of the liver to chronic damage – that of fibrosis. The antifibrogenic mode of action is mediated through changes in the expression of genes in hepatic stellate cells and liver macrophages (Kupffers). These results suggest an additional function for the PXR.

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