Navigation Links
Research Offers Promise for Cirrhosis Treatment
Date:12/27/2007

Protein stops liver scarring in mice, study finds

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- New findings about the inner workings of cells may be bringing scientists one step closer to reversing the scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis.

Currently, the best treatment for advanced cirrhosis is a liver transplant, an option that's often not available. But newly released research with mice suggests that a drug-based strategy could reprogram cells and make it "feasible to treat it [cirrhosis] and prevent it without a transplant," said study lead author Martina Buck, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

There's no guarantee, however, that the treatment will work in humans. And Buck said it could take at least five to 10 years for a drug to reach the market if a pharmaceutical company became interested in pursuing it.

But the research might also lead to new treatments for other conditions that lead to excess tissue scarring, such as viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease, pulmonary fibrosis, scleroderma and burns, the study authors said.

At issue is scarring in the liver, an organ that filters out toxins and breaks down medications. The scarring is a "natural healing process," Buck said, but overuse of alcohol and diseases like hepatitis can make the scarring become chronic and lead to major health problems like cancer.

In the new study, Buck and her colleagues focused on liver cells that transform into scar tissue when activated. They used mice with severe liver fibrosis that was brought about by chronic exposure to a toxin known to cause liver damage. Next, they genetically engineered mice to activate a protein that provides protection against scarring.

The researchers found that the protein seemed to protect the mice from scarring, and "if you wait until [a mouse] has cirrhosis before you treat him, he will actually regress. It's not just a preventive thing. It's an actual treatment," Buck said.

The study was published Dec. 26 in the journal Public Library of Science Online.

Research into the workings of liver cells in people suggests that the treatment might also work in humans, Buck said. Potentially, the treatment could be converted into a drug that could be given orally or intravenously, she said.

Dr. Scott Friedman, chief of the Division of Liver Diseases at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said that while the study is useful, it's "not a major breakthrough" considering the many research projects in a similar stage of development.

Still, he said, it "builds on 20 years of very exciting research" that looks at how cells create scarring in the liver.

More information

Learn more about cirrhosis from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.



SOURCES: Martina Buck, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, University of California, San Diego; Scott L. Friedman, M.D., Fishberg Professor of Medicine, and chief, Division of Liver Diseases, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; Dec. 26, 2007, Public Library of Science Online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
5. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
6. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
9. HIVs impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research
10. U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
11. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, ... ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance ... management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th ... and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and operators ... location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of 2018. ... in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both Covington ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading global ... that its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. Oz ... Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show kicked ... The segment features ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, ... complete response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug ... approval of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to ... indicates additional clinical data are needed to further evaluate ... to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... -- HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy ... team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: