Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study reveals much-needed strategy to protect against deadly liver fibrosis

Date:
August 15, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Chronic liver disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, in part because it often causes the formation of harmful scar tissue -- a process known as fibrosis. A study finds that certain drugs could serve as a new treatment strategy to protect against liver fibrosis.

This image demonstrates that the factor IL-33 (brown cells) is present in livers after chronic damage.
Credit: Immunity, Mchedlidze et al.

Chronic liver disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, in part because it often causes the formation of harmful scar tissue -- a process known as fibrosis. A study published by Cell Press August 15 in the journal Immunity reveals the central role the immune molecule interleukin 33 (IL-33) plays in the formation of liver fibrosis. The findings suggest that drugs targeting this molecule could serve as a new treatment strategy to protect against liver fibrosis.

Related Articles


"Currently, the therapeutic options for liver fibrosis are limited and not curative," says senior study author Stefan Wirtz of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. "We identified novel immunological factors that contribute to the development of liver fibrosis, opening up new avenues for the treatment of this serious condition."

Liver fibrosis refers to the accumulation of harmful deposits of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, and it can eventually lead to organ failure. Past studies have suggested that this kind of damage is associated with abnormal immune responses in the liver, but very little was known about the molecules and cells that contribute to fibrosis.

In the new study, Wirtz and his team found that the amount of IL-33 in the blood was higher than normal in patients with liver disease. Following up on this observation, they discovered that injection of IL-33 into mice caused ECM proteins to build up in the liver, whereas mice that were genetically modified to lack IL-33 were largely protected from fibrosis. The researchers went on to identify the immune networks underlying IL-33's harmful effects and discovered that this molecule activates immune cells called type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2), which had never before been linked to liver disease.

"Our findings reveal IL-33 as a novel biomarker that could potentially lead to early detection of fibrosis in patients, which may be extremely valuable for preventing further damage to the liver," Wirtz says. "Moreover, the study shows that drugs targeting IL-33 or ILC2 responses could be a promising strategy to protect against fibrosis and chronic liver disease."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tamar Mchedlidze, Maximilian Waldner, Steffen Zopf, Jennifer Walker, Andrew L. Rankin, Marcus Schuchmann, David Voehringer, Andrew N.J. McKenzie, Markus F. Neurath, Stefan Pflanz, Stefan Wirtz. Interleukin-33-Dependent Innate Lymphoid Cells Mediate Hepatic Fibrosis. Immunity, 2013; 39 (2): 357 DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.07.018

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Study reveals much-needed strategy to protect against deadly liver fibrosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815133445.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, August 15). Study reveals much-needed strategy to protect against deadly liver fibrosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815133445.htm
Cell Press. "Study reveals much-needed strategy to protect against deadly liver fibrosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815133445.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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