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Artificial bile ducts grown in lab and transplanted into mice could help treat liver disease

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Scientists have developed a new method for growing and transplanting artificial bile ducts that could in future be used to help treat liver disease in children, reducing the need for liver transplantation. The study suggests that it will be feasible to generate and transplant artificial human bile ducts using a combination of cell transplantation and tissue engineering technology. This approach provides hope for the future treatment of diseases of the bile duct; at present, the only option is a liver transplant.

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Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

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A new study determined that it doesn’t matter where a person lives or the choices they make, male hepatitis B patients will always be at greater risk for more severe liver illnesses. In an attempt to explain the disparity between the two, suggestions have been made that lifestyle choices, such as drinking, smoking or even how much water a person drinks, might be the reason.

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Diet, in addition to alcohol consumption, may play important role in liver problems

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A new study finds that mice bred to consume high amounts of alcohol, but controlled by diet, did not necessarily develop the most severe liver injuries, suggesting that diet may pay an important role in liver injury development. Alcoholic liver disease is a global health burden and refers to a disease spectrum ranging from hepatomegaly and simple fatty liver (hepatic steatosis), to more severe pathologies such as alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatic cirrhosis. In the United States about half of the population drinks alcohol and approximately 38 million people are estimated to engage in binge drinking behavior.

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Different sugars, different risks to your liver

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Studies in mice show that fructose plays a more damaging role than glucose in fatty liver disease. Mice on a fatty diet who were given high levels of fructose in their diet suffered much worse metabolic effects than those given similar calories of glucose. The scientists went on to pinpoint biological processes that help to explain the different outcomes. Although fatty liver disease usually does not progress to dangerous levels of liver inflammation, the condition is an increasing concern as its rates climb in the worldwide obesity epidemic.

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Enzyme produced in the liver promotes obesity, fatty liver disease and insulin resistance

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In mice that are given a high-fat diet, an increased production of the enzyme DPP4 by the liver promotes an increase in body fat, the development of fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. DPP4 inhibitors are well known from the treatment of diabetes. Therefore, in our opinion, they could be used in the future not only to improve the sugar metabolism but also to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. DPP4 is an enzyme that, to a large extent, is produced by the liver and inhibits the effects of important intestinal hormones that are involved in blood glucose metabolism. In addition, patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have elevated DPP4 levels in their blood. To date, however, it was unclear whether elevated levels of DPP4 in fatty livers are the cause or consequence of the disease.

 

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Chronic liver inflammation linked to Western diet

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Food, antibiotics, and gender are just some of the factors that can throw off the balance between the gut and liver. A new study reports that mice fed a Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, resulted in hepatic inflammation, especially in males. Moreover, liver inflammation was most pronounced in Western diet-fed male mice that also lacked farnesoid x receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor.

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Researchers find accumulation of tumor suppressor in liver after food withdrawal

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Tumor suppressors stop healthy cells from becoming cancerous. Researchers from Charit√© – Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin, the Medical University of Graz and the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbruecke have found that p53, one of the most important tumor suppressors, accumulates in liver after food withdrawal. They also show that p53 in liver plays a crucial role in the body’s metabolic adaptation to starvation. These findings may provide the foundation for the development of new treatment options for patients with metabolic or oncologic disorders.

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