Abnormal blood vessels (white circles) exhibit high protein expression in the cirrhotic tissue CPEB4
Cirrhosis is among the ten leading causes of death among adults in the world and, according to statistics, this is the main reason for liver transplantation. Simultaneously, it is the main factor of liver cancer. Researchers from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona (IRB Barcelona) believe that it is the latter fact may be the key to preventing and treating the disease.
Cirrhosis – a chronic liver damage, accompanied by the accumulation of scar (fibrous) tissue, which alters the normal structure of the body and affects its functioning. This is usually caused by alcoholism, hepatitis C, and more often – obesity. The accumulation of fibrous tissue prevents blood circulation, it leads to portal hypertension – increased pressure in the portal vein.To ease the pressure on the vein, additional blood vessels develop outside the liver. There are two problems: First, the liver is still receives less blood, which leads to worsening of the disease; secondly, the new blood vessels of inferior quality. This is called pathological angiogenesis. “The liver cells try to repair the damage of the liver, but they do it way to fatal organ. It’s a vicious circle, which ultimately threatens the life of the patient – explains Dr. Fernandez Mercedes (Mercedes Fernández). – In addition, the blood vessels provide additional varicose veins in the esophagus and stomach of patients with cirrhosis; These veins are very brittle and tend to break down, leading to severe hemorrhages in the abdominal cavity, which are difficult to stop. “New drug eliminates and / or prevents the formation of abnormal veins, which is effective for the development of this dangerous complication of cirrhosis. The key to the treatment is the suppression of protein CPEB4. Scientists have found that it is able to prevent the development of abnormal blood vessels. On such an idea they pushed their previous studies when it was discovered protein CPEB part in causing cancer of various organs. Pathological angiogenesis – a key factor in the further development of the disease and the deterioration of the patient. Therefore previously been many attempts to find a cure for this condition is.However, heretofore focused on drugs suppressing VEGF protein, which is directly involved in the formation of blood vessels.The problem is that indiscriminate attack on this protein interferes with normal development of other blood vessels, leading to intolerable side effects. On the other hand, the suppression of CPEB4 does not cause side effects. A new study may be the key to reducing mortality from cirrhosis of the liver and reduce the risk of liver cancer in patients with cirrhosis. The scientific resultsSequential Functions of CPEB1 and CPEB4 Regulate Pathologic Expression of VEGF and Angiogenesis in Chronic Liver Diseasepublished in the journal Gastroenterology (mirror).