Well, scientists have identified new sub-types of cells that, when they interact, accelerate the scarring process in diseased livers. So, patients fighting liver disease could be helped by the discovery of cells that cause liver scarring in their bodies. There is hope that new treatments can be developed more quickly for liver diseases by further understanding of how these cells behave.
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The long-term damage to the liver helps in the formation of scar tissue, consequently causing liver failure. And at present, there are no treatments available to prevent or reverse this.
To study liver scarring in high definition, scientists from the University of Edinburgh used a new technology called single-cell RNA sequencing for the same.
They discovered sub-types of three key cells: white blood cells called macrophsage, endothelial cells, which line blood vessels and scar-forming cells known as myofibroblasts.
“Identifying new treatments for liver scarring is critical to tackling the epidemic of liver disease that we are currently facing.” in statements of Dr. Prakash Ramachandran, an MRC clinician-scientist at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Inflammation Research and Consultant Liver Specialist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
He added, “For the first time, we now have an in-depth understanding of how cells behave and talk to each other in diseased livers and, importantly, how we might block their activity as a treatment for liver scarring.”
Prof Neil Henderson, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Inflammation Research and Consultant Liver Specialist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh said, “Using this new technology has allowed us to study human liver scarring in high definition for the first time. We hope that this new cutting-edge approach will rapidly accelerate the discovery of much-needed new treatments for patients with liver disease.”
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