Study identifies factors to decrease alcoholic liver disease


A new study gives deep understanding into cellular aging. It may activate excessive fibrosis development in liver as possible to inhibit these changes. It leads to new therapeutic approaches for patients with Alcoholic Liver Disease.

We believe that senescent cells contribute to age-related tissue degeneration during chronic liver injuries, explained co-author Fanyin Meng, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Baylor Scott & White Digestive Disease Research Center (BSWDDRC), Texas A&M College of Medicine and Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, TX. Cellular senescence refers to a state of irreversible cell-cycle arrest combined with the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and hepatocellular dysfunction. Our study demonstrates that the drivers of aging are critical mediators of ALDs.

The researchers have analyzed the liver tissues effected with steatohepatitis of heavy drinkers. To identify biochemical markers of cellular condition mice fed with ethanol. The identifications indicate that up-regulation of microRNA-34a (miR-34a) during alcohol consumption. It helps in development of liver fibrosis during alcoholic liver injury.

The effects of miR-34a in fibrosis related to different aging signaling in two different liver cell types.

The primary liver cells in hepatocytes make 70% to 85% of the liver’s mass and perform the basic functions of the liver.  Also condition increased, similarly condition decreased in activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) these cells considered as supportive cells when activated by alcohol or other liver begin to produce excessive fibrotic material.

Their research also shows discomfort of hepatic miR-34a expression reduces liver injury and liver fibrosis in Alcoholic Liver Disease.

Understanding the mechanisms underlying HSC activation and regression. It has become an increased area of interest. Our findings help to advance understanding of the complex nature of this phenomenon, noted Dr. Meng.

Targeting the drivers of aging and senescent cells may be a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce hepatic steatosis and liver fibrosis in ALD patients, commented co-author Gianfranco Alpini, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medical Physiology at Texas A&M College of Medicine, Senior Research Scientist at Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, and Director of the BSW DDRC.

Further, co-author Heather Francis, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Physiology at Texas A&M College of Medicine and member of the BSWDDRC, stated, It is imperative to identify regulatory targets for potential treatment of ALDs. Especially for populations that are greatly impacted by this disease. Moreover, Shannon Glaser, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Physiology at Texas A&M College of Medicine and member of the BSWDDRC added.

Targeting the miR-34a may also be key for managing liver fibrosis in other cholangiopathies. Such as primary sclerosing cholangitis as well as primary biliary cholangitis.

Our study opens the window for the possibility of linking age-related genes as therapeutics for the future.