We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Scientists Track Down Genes Associated with Liver Disease
News

Scientists Track Down Genes Associated with Liver Disease

Scientists Track Down Genes Associated with Liver Disease
News

Scientists Track Down Genes Associated with Liver Disease

Micrograph of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Masson's trichrome & Verhoeff stain. The liver has a prominent (centrilobular) macrovesicular steatosis (white/clear round/oval spaces) and mild fibrosis (green). The hepatocytes stain red. Macrovesicular steatosis is lipid accumulation that is so large it distorts the cell's nucleus. By Nephron [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Scientists Track Down Genes Associated with Liver Disease"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

University of Queensland scientists have identified genes associated with fatty liver disease, a condition affecting 5.5 million Australians.


The discovery, led by Dr Divya Ramnath and Professor Matt Sweet from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and Professor Elizabeth Powell at the Centre for Liver Disease Research, offers potential to develop ways to treat the disease and halt its progression.


Dr Ramnath said the team used an innovative combination of research techniques to identify the genes and gain new insights into the roles they play in chronic liver conditions.   




“The impact of infection, alcohol, obesity and poor diet on the development of chronic liver disease is well established, but how genetic factors contribute to its progression has remained largely a mystery,” Dr Ramnath said."


“We took a deeper look than previous genetic studies, profiling gene expression changes in liver biopsies of patients at various stages of liver fibrosis – or scarring – in combination with changes in levels of specific markers in the blood that predict liver fibrosis.


“This enabled us to identify a core set of liver fibrosis-associated genes as well as a specific protein that likely activates many of these genes.


“By comparing the genetic profiles of chronic liver disease patients with and without fatty liver, we were, for the first time, able to pinpoint a set of genes that are specifically associated with fatty liver disease.”


Health authorities estimate about 5.5 million Australians have fatty liver disease.


The accumulation of fat causes inflammation and leaves sufferers – who often have no symptoms – more susceptible to liver cancer.


“There are currently no approved treatments for patients with late stage fatty liver disease which is rising to record levels within Australia and around the world,” Dr Ramnath said.


The research was published in JCI Insight and was supported by IMB Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research at UQ.

This article has been republished from materials provided by the University of Queensland. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference: Ramnath, D., Irvine, K. M., Lukowski, S. W., Horsfall, L. U., Loh, Z., Clouston, A. D., … Sweet, M. J. (2018). Hepatic expression profiling identifies steatosis-independent and steatosis-driven advanced fibrosis genes. JCI Insight, 3(14). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.120274

Advertisement