Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ghrelin mitigates liver fibrosis in animal models; regulates human fibrosis

01.03.2010
Study suggests stomach hormone may offer novel fibrosis therapy

Spanish researchers determined that rats treated with recombinant ghrelin displayed a reduction in liver fibrosis. Ghrelin, a stomach hormone, reduced the amount of fibrogenic cells by 25% in the treated rodents.

Research further showed ghrelin prevented acute liver damage and reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in the animal models. Details of this study are published in the March issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Liver diseases, such as hepatitis viruses, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, liver cancer), affect more than 5 million Americans with over 85,000 new cases of hepatitis reported annually, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The World Health Organization reports over 2 billion people worldwide have some type of viral hepatitis. Those living with chronic liver disease are subject to further damage caused by fibrosis, a scaring of the liver that can lead to liver failure and the ultimate need of transplantation.

"Currently, there are no effective anti-fibrotic therapies for patients with liver disease," said Ramón Bataller, M.D., from the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain and lead author of the study. "Our aim was to determine if recombinant ghrelin could regulate the formation of fibrous tissue associated with chronic liver damage." Ghrelin is a growth hormone that plays a major role in the regulation of appetite and is primarily produced in the stomach. Prior studies have shown that ghrelin also has protective effects in other areas of the body including the pancreas, heart and gastrointestinal tract.

To assess chronic liver disease, the research team induced liver injury and fibrosis in male rats by prolonged bile duct ligation. The animals were separated into groups of 12 animals: group 1 received a saline solution, group 2 the rat recombinant ghrelin, and group 3 the ghrelin receptor agonist. Results showed that liver collagen increased 7-fold compared to control rats. Analysis revealed those animals treated with ghrelin displayed only mild collagen deposits with a decrease in fibrosis of roughly 40%.

Acute liver disease was studied in male rates by forming 3 experimental groups of 8 animals. The control group received saline and olive oil, group 2 was administered saline and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 - to induce liver failure), and group 3 was given CCl4 along with ghrelin. In the group treated with ghrelin, researchers documented a marked reduction in liver cell damage and a decrease infiltration of inflammatory cells. Further examination found that ghrelin weakened the effects of on CCl4 on the pathways involved in hepatocyte survival and proliferation.

"In our study, we demonstrate that recombinant ghrelin regulates the fibrogenic response of the liver to acute and chronic disease. Ghrelin naturally produced in the body also inhibits the development of fibrosis in animal models and humans," said Dr. Bataller.

Researchers also analyzed ghrelin serum levels in blood samples from human patients who were asked to fast overnight. The samples collected included 67 patients with chronic hepatitis C, 24 with alcoholic hepatitis, and 24 healthy controls. In both patient groups with liver disease the ghrelin serum levels were significantly lower compared with the healthy control. Lower ghrelin serum levels were found in patients with advanced fibrosis than in those with mild fibrosis.

"Our results indicate that ghrelin may be useful in treating patients with liver disease and fibrosis by preventing scar tissue formation," suggested Dr. Bataller. In studies that tested ghrelin in patients with anorexia, gastroparesis (slow digestion caused by nerve or muscle damage), cachexia (physical wasting), and chronic heart failure the hormone was well tolerated, causing only a mild decrease in blood pressure. "Further studies should evaluate the safety and efficacy of ghrelin in patients with chronic liver disease," the authors concluded.

Article: "Ghrelin attenuates hepatocellular injury and liver fibrogenesis in rodents and influences fibrosis progression in humans." Montserrat Moreno, Javier Chaves, Pau Sancho-Bru, Fernando Ramalho, Leandra Ramalho, Maria L Mansego, Carmen Ivorra, Marlene Dominguez, Laura Conde, Cristina Millán, Montserrat Marí, Jordi Colmenero, Juan Lozano, Pedro Jares, Josep Vidal, Xavier Forns, Vicente Arroyo, Juan Caballería, Pere Ginès and Ramón Bataller. Hepatology; Published Online: March 1, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/hep.23421); Print Issue Date: March 2010.

Media wishing to receive a PDF of the article may contact medicalnews@wiley.com

Hepatology is the premier publication in the field of liver disease, publishing original, peer-reviewed articles concerning all aspects of liver structure, function and disease. Each month, the distinguished Editorial Board monitors and selects only the best articles on subjects such as immunology, chronic hepatitis, viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, genetic and metabolic liver diseases and their complications, liver cancer, and drug metabolism. Hepatology is published on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). For more information, please visit http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/106570044/home.

Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world's leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit www.wileyblackwell.com or www.interscience.wiley.com.

Dawn Peters | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>