Nav: Home

Cellular mechanism for severe viral hepatitis identified

January 18, 2018

KAIST medical scientists identified a cellular mechanism causing inflammatory changes in regulatory T cells that can lead to severe viral hepatitis. Research on this mechanism will help further understand the nature of various inflammatory diseases and lead to the development of relevant clinical treatments.

It is known that activated immune cells of patients with viral hepatitis destroy hepatocyte, but its regulatory mechanism has not yet been described.

Regulatory T cells inhibit activation of other immune cells and thus are important for homeostasis of the immune system. However, recent studies contradictorily show that immune inhibitory functions of regulatory T cells weaken in inflammatory conditions and the cells secrete inflammatory cytokines in response. Meanwhile, such a phenomenon was not observed in viral hepatitis including types A, B and C.

The team focused on changes in regulatory T cells in patients with viral hepatitis and discovered that regulatory T cells undergo inflammatory changes to secrete inflammatory cytokines (protein secreted by immune cells) called TNF. They also proved regulatory T cells that secrete TNF contribute to the progression of viral hepatitis.

The team confirmed that regulatory T cells of acute hepatitis A patients have reduced immune-inhibitory functions. Instead, their regulatory T cells secrete TNF. Through this research, the team identified a molecular mechanism for changes in regulatory T cells and identified the transcription factor regulating the process. Furthermore, the team found similar changes to be also present in hepatitis B and C patients.

A KAIST immunology research team led by Professors Eui-Cheol Shin and Min Kyung Jung at the Graduate School of Medical Science & Engineering conducted this translational research with teams from Chungnam National University and Yonsei University to identify the mechanism in humans, instead of using animal models. The research was described in Gastroenterology last December.

Professor Shin said, "This is the first research on regulatory T cells that contributes to hepatocyte damage in viral hepatitis." He continued, "It is significant for identifying the cells and the molecules that can be used as effective treatment targets for viral hepatitis in the future. This research was funded by the Samsung Science and Technology Foundation.
-end-


The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Related Hepatitis Articles:

Hepatitis C increasing among pregnant women
Hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled from 2009-2014, likely a consequence of the country's increasing opioid epidemic that is disproportionately affecting rural areas of states including Tennessee and West Virginia.
WHO's Global Hepatitis Report sets baseline to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030
The World Hepatitis Alliance today welcomes the publication of the first-ever Global Hepatitis Report by the World Health Organization (WHO), which includes new data on the prevalence and global burden of viral hepatitis.
Elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030: What's needed and how do we get there?
This first European Action Plan provides an important driver to aid countries in their fight against viral hepatitis, to which ECDC had the opportunity to contribute directly.
Discovery of new Hepatitis C virus mechanism
Researchers at Osaka University, Japan uncovered the mechanisms that suppress the propagation of the hepatitis C virus with the potential of improving pathological liver conditions.
Is Europe ready to eliminate viral hepatitis?
Currently, Europe records around 57,000 newly diagnosed acute and chronic cases of hepatitis B and C each year.
Why baby boomers need a hepatitis C screening
Hepatitis C affects a disproportionate amount of older Americans, born between 1945 and 1965.
Counterattack of the hepatitis B virus
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects liver cells. Drugs are available to treat HBV, but they rarely cure the infection, and so the virus typically returns after the treatment ends.
Hepatitis C tied to increased risk of Parkinson's
The hepatitis C virus may be associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Dec.
The hepatitis A virus is of animal origin
The hepatitis A virus can trigger acute liver inflammation which generally has a mild course in small children but which can become dangerous in adults.
Modeling the helicase to understand hepatitis C
NS3 is an enzyme specific to the hepatitis C virus.

Related Hepatitis Reading:

Hepatitis C: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
by Paul J. Thuluvath (Author)

Dr. Melissa Palmer's Guide To Hepatitis and Liver Disease
by Avery

NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories
by NOFX (Author), Jeff Alulis (Author)

HEPATITIS: A-to-E, Autoimmune, & Drug-induced: Symptoms, Transmissions, Diagnosis, Treatments, Diet, Preventions, Research
by James Lee Anderson (Author)

A Never Event: Exposing the Largest Outbreak of Hepatitis C in American Healthcare History
by Evelyn V. McKnight (Author), Travis T. Bennington (Author)

Living With Hepatitis C For Dummies
by Nina L. Paul (Author), Gina Pollichino (Foreword)

Autoimmune Hepatitis: Learn to Cure Yourself, Your Doctor Never Will! (Autoimmune Disease, Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, Autoimmune Paleo, Autoimmune, autoimmune diet)

Hep C Treatment: Discover How to Treat and Cure Your Hepatitis C (Hep C)
by Wendy Johanson (Author)

Hepatitis C Treatment: An Essential Guide for the Treatment of the Hepatitis C Virus (Hep C)
by Virginia Graham (Author)

The Harvoni Experience: How I Beat Hepatitis C in 12 Weeks with One Pill a Day
by Promedion

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Approaching With Kindness
We often forget to say the words "thank you." But can those two words change how you — and those around you — look at the world? This hour, TED speakers on the power of gratitude and appreciation. Guests include author AJ Jacobs, author and former baseball player Mike Robbins, Dr. Laura Trice, Professor of Management Christine Porath, and former Danish politician Özlem Cekic.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female
This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We'll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain the evolution of two sexes, about anisogamy, sexual reproduction through the fusion of two different gametes: the egg and the sperm. Then we'll speak with Dr. Roberto Pereira, research scientist in urban entomology at the University of Florida, about traumatic insemination in bed bugs.