Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Toxic Bile Damages The Liver

Date:
October 27, 2008
Source:
University Hospital Heidelberg
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new genetic disease that can lead to severe liver damage. Because a protective component of the bile is missing, the liver cells are exposed to the toxic components of the bile, resulting in cirrhosis of liver. This could explain some of the cases of liver cirrhosis of unknown origin and open up a new approach for treatment.

Researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital have discovered a new genetic disease that can lead to severe liver damage. Because a protective component of the bile is missing, the liver cells are exposed to the toxic components of the bile, resulting in cirrhosis of liver, a transformation of liver cells into connective tissue with a gradual loss of liver function.

This could explain some of the cases of liver cirrhosis of unknown origin and open up a new approach for treatment.

Some of the known frequent causes of cirrhosis of the liver are liver inflammation due to a virus, alcohol abuse, autoimmune disease, and metabolic defects. But in some 15 to 20 percent of patients, the cause is unknown and the appropriate treatment cannot be initiated.

Defective transporter protein makes the bile toxic

The Heidelberg University Hospital team, including Dr. Daniel Gotthardt and Dr. Peter Sauer of the Gastroenterology Department and Dr. Heiko Runz and Professor Dr. Johannes Zschocke of the Institute of Human Genetics, discovered that a mutation of the ABCB4 gene can cause inadequate secretion of bile in the liver, giving rise to cirrhosis. The illness can begin in childhood or at an adult age and lead to death.

The gene ensures the production of a transporter protein that is responsible for the excretion of phosphatidylcholine into bile. Phosphatidylcholine protects the liver from toxic substances in the bile; a low concentration can thus lead to liver damage.

It was already known that another mutation in the ABCB4 gene can cause severe liver disease in babies. The disease occurs only if the gene is inherited from both father and mother. Women who carry the mutated ABCB4 gene but are not themselves affected have a clearly increased risk of suffering from pronounced jaundice during pregnancy. Genetic counseling and close supervision during pregnancy should be considered.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Gotthardt et al. A mutation in the canalicular phospholipid transporter gene, ABCB4, is associated with cholestasis, ductopenia, and cirrhosis in adults. Hepatology, 2008; 48 (4): 1157 DOI: 10.1002/hep.22485

Cite This Page:

University Hospital Heidelberg. "Toxic Bile Damages The Liver." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081024103209.htm>.
University Hospital Heidelberg. (2008, October 27). Toxic Bile Damages The Liver. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081024103209.htm
University Hospital Heidelberg. "Toxic Bile Damages The Liver." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081024103209.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
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