Cases of Liver ailments have shown an exponential increase in last four decades. In Britain, it is the fifth disease responsible for an increasing number of deaths. Last year, chronic liver disease claimed around 16000 lives in Britain. According to a leading newspaper in Britain, the waiting for organ transplants due to liver ailments has shoot up from 300 to 500. Some common liver diseases include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and hemochromatosis (a genetic liver disease).
The scientists have made an important breakthrough that can help in finding new treatments for chronic liver ailments. Presently, organ transplant is the only way to cure such ailments.
To stimulate the production of hepatocytes (vital liver cells), researchers have made a lot of effort. These cells are destroyed when potentially fatal conditions such as cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis affect the liver. Frequent consumption of alcohol for a longer period and severe case of jaundice are some of the reasons, which ruin the liver.
A latest research was published in the journal Nature Medicine, which has sorted out the network of complex biochemical signals that activate the regeneration of cells within the liver. Liver filters harmful toxins from the bloodstream therefore, any damage to it can be fatal.
Human liver itself has remarkable powers of regenerating naturally, which results in the elimination of the wrong liver cells. Scientists also said that a damaged liver makes too many bile duct cells instead of making hepatocytes. Hepatocytes are liver parenchymal cells that make 70-80% of the liver’s cytoplasm ic mass.
Lead author of the study is Luke Boulter of the Medical Research Council's Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University. He said that knowing about the regeneration of new liver cells will help to find ways for repairing damaged liver tissue/s.