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Current Hepatocytes News and Events, Hepatocytes News Articles.
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Promising novel treatment for human cancer -- Chrysanthemum indicum extract
A research team from China investigated the effects of Chrysanthemum indicum extract (CIE) on inhibition of proliferation and on apoptosis, and the underlying mechanisms, in a human hepatocellular carcinoma MHCC97H cell line. They found CIE exerted a significant apoptotic effect through a mitochondrial pathway and arrested the cell cycle by regulation of cell cycle-related proteins in MHCC97H cells without an effect on normal cells. (2009-10-16)

Elevated lymphotoxin expression in liver leads to chronic hepatitis and causes HCC
A recent study maps the pathway that leads from infection with hepatitis B and C virus to chronic hepatitis and liver cancer and proposes a new therapeutic strategy for treating liver diseases with chronic inflammation. The research, published by Cell Press in the October issue of the journal Cancer Cell, describes a signaling pathway that can be beneficial during liver regeneration, but can lead to chronic hepatitis and severe liver damage when chronically activated. (2009-10-05)

Penn State College of Medicine research isolates liver cancer stem cells prior to tumor formation
Penn State College of Medicine researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Southern California, have taken an important step in understanding the role of stem cells in development of liver cancer. Using a unique approach that involves study of individual cells, the team, led by C. Bart Rountree, M.D., has demonstrated for the first time a population of cancer stem cells in the liver prior to tumor formation. (2009-09-17)

The 'S' stands for surprise
Protein S, a well-known anticoagulant protein, keeps the blood flowing in more than one way, discovered researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The protein contributes to the formation and function of healthy blood vessels. (2009-09-01)

Critical link in cell death pathway revealed
The role of a protein called XIAP in the regulation of cell death has been identified by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers and has led them to recommend caution when drugs called IAP inhibitors are used to treat cancer patients with underlying liver conditions. (2009-07-22)

Mass. General-based research center will investigate why immune system fails to control hepatitis C
A research consortium based at Massachusetts General Hospital has been awarded $15 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to investigate how the hepatitis C virus resists suppression and clearance by the immune system. (2009-07-22)

A potential targeting gene therapy for developing HCV
An HCV-specific promoter is required to restrict transgene expression only in HCV infected cells. A research group in China demonstrated that HCV-core protein activates the 2'-5'oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS) gene promoter specifically and effectively. Since HCV-core protein plays an important role in persistent infection and hepatocellular carcinogenesis, and amino acid sequence of core protein is relatively conserved, utilization of OAS promoter to drive therapeutic gene expression would be an ideal strategy for HCV targeting gene therapy. (2009-07-16)

Artificial liver for drug tests
The liver is one of the most important metabolizing organs in humans. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a model of the liver, which is viable outside the body and which is suitable for testing drugs. (2009-06-25)

Is 31P MRS a useful tool for evaluating early acute hepatic radiation injury?
31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) has been widely used to detect liver metabolism in vivo for decades. A research group from China investigated whether changes of 31P MRS in the liver with early acute radiation injury were related to the liver damage score (LDS) and pathologic changes. They found that 31P MRS is a useful method to evaluate early acute hepatic radiation injury. The relative quantification of hepatic ATP levels is correlated with LDS. (2009-06-23)

JCI online early table of contents: June 15, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 15, 2009, in the JCI: (2009-06-15)

What is the role of reactive oxygen species in ethanol-mediated cell death of polarized hepatic cells?
The clinical progression of alcoholic liver disease is associated with an increase in hepatocellular damage that may involve the promotion and execution of apoptotic death mechanisms. A liver research group in Nebraska has reported that the signaling and selection of apoptotic over necrotic cell death mechanisms involves particular factors such as the level of oxidative stress in the hepatocyte as well as the ability antioxidant defenses of the cell have in coping with oxidative damage. (2009-06-12)

MicroRNAs grease the cell's circadian clockwork
In the June 1 issue of G&D, Dr. Ueli Schibler and colleagues reveal a role for the liver-specific microRNA, miR-122, in the circadian regulation of lipid metabolism. (2009-05-31)

New oncogene gives valuable insight into hepatocellular tumors in humans
The first identification of GP130 somatic activating mutations in human tumors was announced today at EASL 2009, the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Liver Disease in Copenhagen, Denmark. (2009-04-23)

Transplanted liver cells function in older animals but do not proliferate as much as in younger ones
Hepatocyte transplantation has been successful in a number of animal models, raising hopes that use of cells could overcome the shortage of donor livers and the problems of surgery, but the procedure has not been as successful in humans. Was the problem related to the age of the donor? Scientists at the Martin Luther University Hale-Wittenberg, Germany, believe they know the answer. Age of the donor makes no difference, but age of the recipient makes a big one. (2009-04-19)

A new method for bone-marrow-derived liver stem cells isolation and proliferation
Bone-marrow-derived liver stem cells were once a hot topic in the field of stem cell research because of their important therapeutic implications, but little progress has been made in recent years because of the difficulty of isolation and proliferation of this special cell population. A research group in China has provided a new method for BDLSC isolation and proliferation, which brings new hope to the clinical use of bone-marrow-derived stem cells. (2009-04-15)

Model tissue system reveals cellular communication via amino acids
A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine has found the first evidence of cell-to-cell communication by amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, rather than by known protein signaling agents such as growth factors or cytokines. (2009-04-03)

New studies examine elimination of hepatitis B and C
Two new studies in the April issue of Hepatology explore the ways that hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus can be cleared from patients' bodies. Hepatology is a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. The articles are also available online at Wiley Interscience. (2009-04-01)

Long-term L-carnitine supplementation prevents development of liver cancer
Liver cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide, especially in Asia and Africa. Although there are many strategies for the treatment of liver cancer, the therapeutic outcome of this cancer remains very poor. Therefore, prevention seems to be the best strategy for lowering the incidence of this disease. (2009-03-24)

What is the role of the omentum in regenerating the liver?
Although the liver is a unique tissue which can regenerate after an acute injury it has been a challenge to induce such regeneration after chronic liver disease. It is therefore important to study mechanisms of liver regeneration in order to devise new approaches to regenerate the liver following damage from chronic disease. Dr. Singh and his group from Chicago recently reported a novel methodology that can potentially induce new liver growth. (2009-03-07)

Studies on imaging and tracking transplanted cells
Three studies on imaging and tracking transplanted cells assessed three imaging techniques to evaluate the degree to which they afford clinicians usable data. Researchers found bioluminescence useful when imaging transplanted human fetal hepatocytes; another team found that the use of small particles of iron oxide to label mensenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could increase the severity of disease; thirdly, an assessment of three different labeling methods for tracking MSCs found DAPI nuclear staining reliable. (2008-12-10)

How did glycine significantly decrease liver injury?
Chronic cholestasic liver diseases lead to liver injury and ultimately progress to portal fibrosis, cirrhosis, and end-stage liver disease requiring liver transplantation. A research group in the US and Germany investigated the effects of (dietary) glycine against oxidant-induced injury caused by bile duct ligation in rats. The study demonstrate that hepatic injury due to BDL is significantly reduced by dietary glycine and glycine decreases liver injury thru a direct effect on hepatocytes. (2008-10-31)

Are bone marrow mononuclear cells effective in reducing hepatic lesions?
In this study, they used an experimental model of hepatic fibrogenesis caused by chronic infection with S.mansoni in order to evaluate the contribution of cellular therapy in hepatic diseases. They investigated the potential of syngeneic bone marrow mononuclear cells in the modulation of fibrosis, albumin expression and cellular alterations. They found that transplanted BMCs migrate to and reduce the damage of chronic fibrotic liver lesions caused by S.mansoni. (2008-10-23)

What is the pathogenesis of liver damage induced by ethanol?
They investigated the effects of ethanol on the IGF-I system with the involvement of JNK1/2 activity and ADH by using each chemical inhibitor in primary cultured rat hepatocytes. The results indicate that ethanol inducedp-JNK1/2 activation is associated with the IGF-I system and cell viability in hepatocytes. Furthermore, alcohol dehydrogenase is involved in the relationship between ethanol-induced inactivation of p-JNK1/2 and the changes of the IGF-I system and cell viability. (2008-10-07)

New lights on the pathogenic mechanisms of liver cirrhosis with ascites
The concept of altered intestinal permeability is important and has been implicated in a number of pathological situations. A research group in Korea investigated the relation between intestinal permeability in compensated and decompensated cirrhosis and urine nitrite oxide levels. The main results of the study are that the increased permeability and nitrite oxide is of importance in the pathophysiology of decompensated cirrhosis. (2008-09-23)

Can Taurine be a potent antioxidant drug in the future?
In hepatotoxin induced liver fibrısis, taurine alleviates ultrastructural injury and organelle based transmission electron microscopy findings can successfully reflect the histological results as well as tissue healing in hepatocytes. (2008-09-19)

Improved culture system for hepatitis C virus infection
A University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researcher has developed the first tissue culture of normal, human liver cells that can model infection with the hepatitis C virus and provide a realistic environment to evaluate possible treatments. The novel cell line will allow pharmaceutical companies to effectively test new drug candidates or possible vaccines for the HCV infection, which afflicts about 170 million people worldwide. (2008-07-15)

Transplanted bone marrow stromal cells lead to hepatocellular carcinoma?
The safety and efficacy of hepatic stem cells derived from bone marrow stromal cells should be adequately confirmed before any therapies are tested in humans. Hepatocarcinogenesis was induced with diethylnitrosamine. The liver was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridisation. The results demonstrate that bone marrow stromal cells could differentiate into hepatocytes and hepatic stem cells derived from bone marrow stromal cells are not cellular origin of hepatocellular carcinoma. (2008-05-21)

What cause alanine aminotransferase levels to elevate persistently among Iranian general population?
A team led by Dr. A Pourshams from the University of Medical Sciences/University of Tehran with collaboration of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Research Center in Tehran, has determined the prevalence and causes of persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase levels among general population in northern of Iran. (2008-05-14)

How does radial flow bioreactor system apply in the fields of bioartificial liver?
A team led by Dr. Yuji Ishii from the Jikei University School of Medicine has reported the hepatic reconstruction from fetal porcine liver cells using a radial flow bioreactor. The authors evidenced that cells organized in organoids with the presence bile duct like structure. They also showed that hepatocytes growth factor favored differentiation and survival of cells in the bioreactor. (2008-05-07)

How does insulin-like growth factor I protect liver function?
A team led by Dra. Castilla de Cortázar Larrea from the University San Pablo-CEU has characterized some beneficial effects promoted by Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-I) therapy on mitochondrial dysfunction associated to experimental cirrhosis, increasing the membrane potential and ATPase activity and reducing the intramitochondrial free radicals production and caspase-3 activity. (2008-05-07)

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News reports on early ADMET use
Biotech and pharma companies are increasingly utilizing novel technologies to assess the druggability of test compounds early in the development cycle to avoid costly late clinical-stage attrition, according to Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. By identifying absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity issues early, pharma also has the opportunity to increase the probability of success of its new drug development activities and reduce the time to market, reports the May 1 issue of GEN. (2008-05-05)

Transplanted cells may hold the key to curing hemophilia A, Einstein scientists report
Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have shown for the first time that transplanted cells can cure hemophilia A (the most common form of the disease) in an animal model. To do so, the researchers transplanted healthy liver endothelial cells from donor mice into a mouse model of the disease. Their findings also overturned conventional wisdom regarding which cells produce factor VIII, the crucial clotting protein that people with type A hemophilia lack. (2008-02-14)

A promising new approach to cadmium induced hepatoxicity: Cytoprotective effect of midkine
Cadmium is a very toxic substance which causes serious damage in the kidney, liver, heart and testes. At present, there is no effective treatment for cadmium intoxication, and patients are given supportive treatment according to their symptoms. A research group in Turkey has found that midkine has a curative effect in cadmium induced toxicity in hepatocytes. (2008-01-16)

How does insulin influence resistin?
Insulin suppressed resistin secretion during 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes differentiation, which does not support a role for resistin in insulin resistance. In diet-induced obese rats, serum resistin level was negatively correlated to insulin sensitivity, not to serum insulin. So insulin is not a major regulator of resistin in vivo. (2008-01-16)

Rockefeller University's Center for Clinical and Translational Science funds pilot studies
The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science has announced the recipients of its 2008 Pilot Project grants. Eight Rockefeller researchers will each receive $25,000 from the center to fund early studies in translational science that, if successful, might lead to clinical trials. (2008-01-07)

It is important to demonstrate the influence of the microenvironment in the process of metastasis
In the work defended at the University of the Basque Country, an in vitro culture model of human colon cancer was created in order to reproduce the gene regulation that is expressed in these cancer cells during their growth as metastasis in the liver of patients. (2007-12-20)

New chimeric mouse model for human liver diseases, drug testing
Cells cultured in the lab are like a fish out of water. Often, their behavior does not reflect their biological function within an entire organ or organism, which, for example, turns studying human liver cells into a big challenge. (2007-12-03)

Is it pancreatitis in acute abdominal pain in acute viral hepatitis?
Acute viral hepatitis is prevalent worldwide. A three-year study led by Dr. Pankaj Jain and Dr. Sandeep Nijhawan from Sawai Man Singh Hospital on acute abdominal pain in acute viral hepatitis revealed acute pancreatitis in 5.65 percent, which was mild and recovered with conservative treatment. Remaining patients had stretching of the glissons capsule as a cause of abdominal pain. (2007-10-30)

JCI table of contents: April 2, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published April 2, 2007, in the JCI, including: Is there such a thing as too much sugar?; Heart grafts avoid rejection; New gene defect causes heavy bones; Pancreatic cells show variable plasticity; We've got drinking water on our minds; and HIF-2 boosts red blood cell numbers. (2007-04-02)

New culture method for hepatitis C virus uses primary hepatocytes and patient serum
Researchers open the way for improved study of hepatitis C virus by devising a novel virus culture system that allows replication of patient-isolated virus in nontransformed hepatocytes, instead of culture-adapted virus strains in transformed cell lines. The related report by Lázaro et al, (2007-01-23)

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