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Transplanted Liver Lining Cells May Cure Hemophilia
Date:2/14/2008

Experiments in mice may lead to new treatments for the disease, study suggests

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have shown that transplanting healthy liver cells into mice with hemophilia enables the animals to produce a critical clotting factor missing in humans with type A hemophilia.

The breakthrough finding may lead the way to a cure for type A hemophilia, the most common type of the disease, researchers believe.

"We were able to verify what cell type in the body can make factor VIII, which is deficient in hemophilia A," said lead researcher Dr. Sanjeev Gupta, a professor of hepatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

"In addition, we were able to replace the cells that line the liver and, in that way, we were able to cure the disorder in mice," Gupta said.

In the study, Gupta's team worked with a mouse model of hemophilia. They transplanted healthy liver endothelial cells into the livers of these mice, according to the report in the Feb. 14 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Three months after transplanting the cells, the number of healthy cells had increased and were producing factor VIII in amounts sufficient to cure their hemophilia, the researchers found.

Given these results, researchers can start to focus on where factor VIII is made in the human body and how things can go wrong with its production, Gupta said.

"From the treatment point of view, we can now begin to direct our attention to these particular cells and find the most effective way to cure this disorder in people," Gupta said.

There are several different ways to treat hemophilia A, Gupta said. These include injecting the missing clotting factor, replenishing blood from time to time, or correcting the gene through gene therapy or cell transplantation.

"What we have done in this work seems to be more promising than any of
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