Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Offers Hope Of New Treatments For Liver Damage 'Plague'

Date:
January 7, 2005
Source:
University Of Edinburgh
Summary:
Millions of patients suffering from liver damage (cirrhosis) and failure may benefit from research by the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton which may lead to new life-saving treatments. There is currently no cure for liver cirrhosis and a patient's only hope of survival is to receive a liver transplant.

Millions of patients suffering from liver damage (cirrhosis) and failure may benefit from research by the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton which may lead to new life-saving treatments. There is currently no cure for liver cirrhosis and a patient's only hope of survival is to receive a liver transplant.

The Edinburgh scientists from the University's Centre for Inflammation Research, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Southampton and Cincinnati, USA have, for the first time, identified two separate populations of immune cells --macrophages--in the liver. One group of macrophages causes scarring to the liver, but the next wave of immune cells, produced only a few days later, change function to break down and reabsorb the scarring. These findings, published in the January edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation, will help doctors to understand the mechanisms by which the liver is damaged and repaired and may lead to future treatments.

Researcher Dr Jeremy Duffield explained: "The links between the immune system, inflammation and scarring in the liver have not been well understood, and this has hindered progress in finding ways to prevent and repair liver damage. Now that we have shown how the macrophages work, we aim to find out how to create, activate and de-activate these cells to make them repair, rather than damage, liver tissue."

He added: "Cirrhosis, commonly, but not always, caused by alcohol consumption, can lead to liver failure. At a time when outcomes for other diseases, such as cancers and heart trouble, have made dramatic gains, liver damage --described as the new plague of the 21st century --has yet to be understood and in turn, to become treatable. More women in the UK now die of liver failure than do of cancer of the cervix.

"There has been a fourfold increase in the number of men aged 45-54 dying of cirrhosis since 1970 and a threefold increase in women of the same age group. Liver failure is also rapidly increasing in younger people with the deaths in the UK of 500 men and 300 women aged 25-44, in 2003."

Professor John Iredale of the University of Southampton said: "We are facing a huge increase in the numbers of patients with advanced liver fibrosis (scarring) and cirrhosis (end stage scarring of the liver). Currently, we have no effective treatment for liver cirrhosis which is associated with internal bleeding, liver failure and the development of primary liver cancer. There is a huge imperative to develop new approaches to the treatment of liver scarring. Exciting insights such as these will inform the design of future therapies."

Further research into macrophages is set to follow and scientists will explore the role of these immune-system cells in damage and repair to other organs, including the kidney.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Edinburgh. "Research Offers Hope Of New Treatments For Liver Damage 'Plague'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106105552.htm>.
University Of Edinburgh. (2005, January 7). Research Offers Hope Of New Treatments For Liver Damage 'Plague'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106105552.htm
University Of Edinburgh. "Research Offers Hope Of New Treatments For Liver Damage 'Plague'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106105552.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins