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 Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA keeps watch over space explosions

16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How the gut ‘talks’ to brown fat

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>