New substance may allow successful transplantation of 'marginal' livers

June 01, 2011

New research raises the possibility that the critically short supply of livers for organ donation could be expanded by treating so-called "marginal" livers with a substance that protects them from damage after being connected to recipients' blood supplies. The report appears in ACS' journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Ram Mahato and colleagues note that the need for liver transplants has grown over the years, though the number of available livers has not. Currently, more than 16,000 people are waiting for a liver in the U.S., but less than 7,000 liver transplants were performed during the entire year of 2010. This shortage has led organ transplant teams to consider using marginal, or damaged, livers, such as those with cholestasis -- a build-up of bile. But transplanting a damaged liver has risks, including a higher risk that the organ will fail. To overcome this challenge, the researchers utilized a hedgehog-signaling inhibitor to increase the odds of a successful liver transplant.

They found that a compound called cyclopamine prevented further injury to cholestatic livers after the blood supply was cut off then returned -- a situation similar to what transplanted livers undergo. The research was performed in rats, which are stand-ins for humans in the laboratory. It provided "convincing evidence" that cyclopamine may protect cholestatic livers from additional damage after a transplant procedure and improve clinical outcomes for the patients.
-end-


American Chemical Society

Related Organ Donation Articles from Brightsurf:

New study warns of misinformation about opt-out organ donation
A new study has warned of the power of a type of behaviour dubbed the 'lone wolf' effect which could result in people 'opting out' of supporting organ donation.

Study reveals impact of 'soft opt-out' system for organ donation
Research published in Anaesthesia suggests that a 'soft opt-out' system may increase consent rates for organ donation after death, which could boost the number of organs available for transplantation.

Survey finds Americans strongly support organ and tissue donation for research
A strong majority of Americans agree that organ and tissue donation for research contributes to health and medical breakthroughs and acknowledge significant shortfalls for donation.

Kidney paired donation is an excellent option for transplant candidates
An analysis compared transplant recipients who received kidneys through national kidney paired donation and those who received kidneys from other living donors (such as relatives, friends or other paired exchange mechanisms).

Sperm donation to strangers after death should be allowed in the UK, say ethicists
Men in the UK should be allowed to voluntarily donate their sperm after death, if they want to, argue ethicists in an analysis published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

You did what with my donation? When donors feel betrayed by charities
When people learn that a charitable contribution they earmarked for a specific project was used for another cause, they feel betrayed -- and often punish the charity, new research from Washington State University indicates.

New study casts doubt on China's organ donation data
The Chinese government may have been systematically misreporting the number of organs it claims it has voluntarily collected since 2010, according to new research published in BMC Medical Ethics.

How opt-out organ donation could affect US waiting lists
Every year in the United States, about 7,500 people die while waiting for an organ transplant, and that number is expected to increase in coming years as demographics shift.

Encouraging critically necessary blood donation among minorities
Better community education and communication are critical for increasing levels of blood donation among minorities, according to a study by researchers at Georgia State University and Georgia Southern University.

Organ and tissue donation in patients considering MAiD: new guidance helps navigate emerging area
A new publication in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) aims to help health care teams navigate clinical and ethical issues that arise when patients choose to donate organs or tissue after medical assistance in dying (MAiD) or withdrawal of life-sustaining measures.

Read More: Organ Donation News and Organ Donation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.