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New Liver Failure Treatment Shows Promise

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New Liver Failure Treatment Shows

According to a current study published in Hepatology, liver failure can be treated successfully with ARC (apoptosis with caspase recruitment domain repressive). Even if the treatment has not been yet tested on humans, experiments on laboratory animals showed positive results. The study was led by the physician Dr. Junfeng Year of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and Dr. Stefan Donath, a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology, Also of the MDC and Helios Klinikum Berlin-Buch.

Researchers have used some recently discovered proteins, ARC (apoptosis with caspase recruitment domain repressive) that prevents apoptosis in liver cells. These proteins are found in heart muscle and skeletal muscle, and experiments based on these proteins have been already made in the past. In 2006, Dr. Donath has shown the role these proteins in heart failure. It seems that ARC prevents myocardial cells to be destroyed. Due to of this role, ARC proteins are extensively studied in the treatment of cancers, because it is known that a tumor is characterized by uncontrolled growth and proliferation. Dr Donath mentioned that ARC proteins can reach also other organs, not anly the liver. This is way, he added: “since TAT-ARC only has to be administered for a short time, a cancer risk can be largely excluded.”

Liver Failure

Liver Failure

Because ARC proteins are not found in liver, researchers had to inject mice with hepatic failure with  ARC proteins. What researchers found was that ARC acted quickly, in other words ARC stopped liver cell apoptosis and mice with liver failure have fully recovered. Dr. Donath mention that the rapid effect of ARC proteins is extremely useful for patients with advanced liver failure. Also, during the study the researchers also discovered other mechanisms of action. It seems that ARC inhibits not only JNK activity, a molecule that causes some abnormal processes in the liver, but also TNF alpha, which cause liver cell apoptosis.

Liver failure is a clinical syndrome caused by global reduction and biological functions of liver, caused by a shortage of functional liver cells. Causes of acute liver failure are multiple: acute fulminant hepatitis (hepatitis B viruses, C, D or other viruses, Epstein Barr, cytomegalovirus), toxic hepatitis caused by drugs (antibiotics, NSAIDs, mushrooms poison), Budd-Chiari syndrome, etc. . Chronic liver failure is most common after cirrhosis. Because the liver has many important functions in the organism, liver failure leads to  multiple disruptions. Disorders of all metabolisms occur   (protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, disorders of acid-base balance,endocrine disorders, hematological disturbances ) The only effective treatment of liver failure today, consists of liver transplantation.