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From The CriticsReviewer: Willem J de Villiers, MD, PhD, MHCM (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
Description: There have been numerous recent developments as far as complexity and novelty are concerned in cellular and extracellular signaling pathways in liver diseases. These exciting concepts have led to new opportunities for innovative treatments but the rapid discovery and intricate nature of these pathways and their interactions have overwhelmed clinicians. This compilation is an attempt to summarize recent knowledge and to provide a context for translational medicine to identify targets for novel therapies.
Purpose: This book wishes to disseminate new knowledge regarding liver signaling pathways and their interactions in an attempt to intensify research exchange between bench and bedside. It is a courageous effort but falls short due to lack of sufficient clinical input. In its current form, the book will appeal mainly to basic researchers.
Audience: It is aimed at both basic and clinical scientists who are involved in liver and biliary research. This is a very limited group and the specific aim is to spread recent knowledge to encourage translational research in innovative therapeutic strategies. The audience will be predominantly basic researchers, while clinical researchers will at most sample some of the abundant fare on offer. The truly international group of authors includes all credible authorities in their respective fields.
Features: The book is divided in three parts containing 35 chapters. In Part I, the different hepatic cell types and matrix are covered. In this section I enjoyed the succinct but pithy chapter on Kupffer cells. Part II has 27 chapters on different interacting hepatic signaling pathways ranging from interferon signaling, CD14 and Toll receptors, Wnt/beta-catenin pathway, PPAR pathway, nitric oxide, apoptosis and mitochondria, NF-kappa B and the role of ceramide in cell regulation. The chapter on Fas/FasL signaling is especially enjoyable. In part III, the areas of pharmacogenomics and proteomics are briefly explored. The book is beautifully produced and duplication is avoided as much as possible. A shortcoming is the relative lack of clinical relevance in many of the described pathways.
Assessment: This attractive compilation attempts to enlighten basis and clinical liver scientists about recent developments in liver signaling pathways. The chapters are comprehensive, but generally short and well written. Those clinicians who are willing to set sail on this sea of interacting signaling pathways will certainly catch enticing glimpses of the promised land of future innovative therapies.