Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Serum caspase activity and liver fibrosis in patients with hepatitis C

08.11.2004


Caspase levels are associated with liver injury



Caspase activity in the sera of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection (HCV) may be a more sensitive measure of liver injury than conventional surrogate markers like aminotransferases, according to a new study published in the November 2004 issue of Hepatology. Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is available online via Wiley InterScience.

Liver biopsy is currently the optimal way to determine the actual progression of liver disease, however, it is an invasive procedure with a risk of complications. The current non-invasive method of assessing liver damage involves measuring serum aminotransferase levels. Unfortunately, many patients with HCV infection who have chronic liver damage exhibit persistently normal aminotransferase levels.


In search of a more accurate non-invasive way to assess early liver damage, researchers led by Klaus Schulze-Osthoff and Heike Bantel of the University of Dusseldorf and Hannover Medical School investigated caspase activity levels in the sera of HCV patients, since recent studies have suggested that caspase activation is involved in very early liver damage. Caspases are believed to mediate the key changes surrounding the death of liver cells.

To explore the relationship between sera caspase levels, sera aminotransferase levels, and actual liver damage, the researchers obtained sera from 59 randomly selected patients with chronic HCV infection. They measured aminotransferase levels and found that twenty-seven percent of the patients were in the normal range. The researchers then examined the sera of the 59 patients, as well as that of seven healthy controls, to detect levels of a caspase-generated neopeptide of CK-18.

In the sera of the healthy controls, only low levels of the neopeptide were detectable. "In striking contrast," the authors report, "HCV patients with different grades of disease activity revealed considerably elevated levels of the caspase-generated cleavage fragment." Additionally, more than half of the HCV patients with aminotransferase levels in the normal range had elevated caspase levels.

The researchers then performed liver biopsies on the 16 study participants who had normal aminotransferase levels. They recruited an additional 9 HCV patients with normal aminotransferase levels for statistical accuracy. Comparing the biopsy findings with sera data, they found that elevated caspase levels were significantly associated with higher stages of fibrosis. "Our data imply that compared to detection of aminotransferases, measurement of caspase-mediated CK-18 cleavage in serum might be the more sensitive method to detect higher stages of liver fibrosis in chronic HCV infection," the researchers report.

While longitudinal studies with larger patients cohorts are necessary, say the authors, one might conclude from this study that patients with normal aminotransferase levels but elevated caspase activation more likely have progressive fibrosis and therefore should be monitored carefully.

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>