We have shown that the iron-storage protein ferritin regulates the expression of the contractile protein a-smooth muscle actin in activated hepatic stellate cells (Ramm et al, 1994: Ramm et al, 1996). Recent studies have demonstrated that another iron protein, transferrin, appears to regulate the expression of collagen type I which may suggest a potential mechanism of hepatic stellate cell activation in haemochromatosis. This study is currently evaluating the role of transferrin and ferritin in the iron-induced activation of hepatic stellate cells. We have shown that the nuclear transcription factor, NFkB is activated and translocates to the nucleus of hepatic stellate cells following exposure to ferritin. It is hoped that an understanding of the basic iron biology of hepatic stellate cells may lead to strategies designed to abrogate the processes of fibrogenesis in haemochromatosis.