Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mechanism, and possible treatment, for immune suppression in liver disease uncovered

14.04.2014

The mechanism which underlies the susceptibility of liver disease patients to life-threatening infection has been uncovered by Wellcome Trust-funded medical scientists, who have also suggested a possible treatment to reverse immune suppression in these patients.

Liver disease, or cirrhosis, is currently the fifth leading cause of death in the UK. Cirrhosis patients are more than five times more likely to pick up infections in hospital than patients with other chronic conditions, due to reduced immunity which is a well-recognised feature of the disease.

In a study published today in Nature Medicine, researchers at UCL propose that the underlying cause of hyper susceptibility to infection in cirrhosis patients is due to the over production of the lipid hormone prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). This hormone prevents white blood cells from ingesting bacteria and killing them.

In the study, 75 blood samples were taken from patients at hospitals including University College Hospital, Royal Free Hospital, Royal London Hospital, St Mary's Hospital and the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.

... more about:
»PGE2 »cirrhosis »death »hormone »immune »liver »suppression

Researchers also found that a decreased concentration globular blood protein albumin, which catalyses the inactivation of PGE2 in liver disease patients was contributing to low immunity.

The authors of the study have therefore suggested that cirrhosis patients should receive albumin infusions to reverse immune suppression in chronic liver disease.

The research was carried out by lead author Professor Derek Gilroy, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at UCL in collaboration with consultant hepatologist Dr Alistair O'Brien.

Professor Gilory said: "A defective innate immune response was first observed in cirrhosis 30 years ago, and infection is most common cause of death in cirrhosis patients. However, the precise factors that cause reduced immunity have up until now been unknown.

"Our research has uncovered a powerful mechanism for immune suppression in cirrhosis patients and also proposes a relatively simple and safe treatment."

Dr O'Brien added: "We have discovered that the immune system of patients with advanced liver disease can be boosted for at least 24 hours by infusing albumin into a vein which reduces PGE2's effects. This safe process is currently given when patients need extra fluid, for example those with kidney damage.

"We propose that albumin be given daily to improve cirrhosis patients' immune systems and therefore prevent infection. We hope that this will save lives and reduce health-care costs and we intend to investigate this in a large scale clinical trial."

The researchers plan to carry out a clinical trial looking at the ability of albumin to reverse immune suppression in liver cirrhosis starting this summer. The trial is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

###

Contact

Clare Ryan
Senior Media Officer
The Wellcome Trust
T: +44 (0)20 7611 7262
E: c.ryan@wellcome.ac.uk

Notes for editors

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

Clare Ryan | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: PGE2 cirrhosis death hormone immune liver suppression

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>