The team used paracetamol as the basis for the study: research indicates that paracetamol can place temporary stress on the liver in around a third of people who take a normal dose (4g per day) but the liver returns to normal when the drug has left the system. Overdoses of the drug are a major cause of liver failure in both the UK and US.
Scientists have discovered that the presence of specific proteins in the blood are indicative of early liver cell damage and can determine the point at which cell death occurred, the type of cell death, and the extent of any damage. This could lead to liver damage being assessed faster and more accurately in the future – information which could prove valuable when treating people following drug overdoses.
The current blood test used by clinicians to assess liver function simply indicates whether liver enzymes leaking from dying cells can be detected in the blood. The test is not always reliable because positive results are often, but not always, an indicator of serious underlying liver problems.
Scientists induced a mild paracetamol overdose in mice and discovered that proteins released by cells in the liver – HMGB1 and keratin 18 – provided a detailed picture of the level of cell damage. The release of HMGB1 was associated with necrosis – a process in which a cell bursts and dies – while the release of different types of keratin 18 was associated with both apoptosis – a process of normal cell renewal – and necrosis. This latter combination of both types of cell death is significantly less traumatic for the liver than necrosis alone in paracetamol overdose.
Pharmacologist, Dr Dominic Williams, from the University's Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science, said: "The findings are significant because knowing how the cells die will allow development of medicines to help them survive, and may also distinguish patients who have severe injury and require intensive care from those who have mild injury.
"The research has implications for determining how much stress has been placed on the liver in patients who are worried about an accidental overdose, as well as the more serious overdose cases."
The research is published in Molecular Medicine.
Kate Spark | EurekAlert!
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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.
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...
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...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News
23.04.2018 | Information Technology
23.04.2018 | Life Sciences