Sheba Medical Center Scientists Discovered a Key Factor Involved in the Development of Liver Failure Due to Fatty Liver Disease
SourceSheba Medical Center
Sheba Medical Center Scientists Discovered a Key Factor
Involved in the Development of Liver Failure Due to Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver, a disease affecting millions of patients worldwide, can lead to liver failure. Dr. Yehuda Kamari of the Sheba Medical Center's Bert W. Strassburger Lipid Center, headed by Prof. Dror Harats, has demonstrated the central involvement of an inflammatory protein in the progression of fatty liver disease.
The identification of the cellular and molecular pathways that mediate the development of the inflammatory form of fatty liver disease, known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, is of crucial importance. Cytokines produced by liver-resident and infiltrating inflammatory cells play a pivotal role in liver inflammation. The team's research demonstrated the critical role of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1α and IL-1β in the transformation of simple fatty liver (steatosis) to inflammatory steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis in mice fed a high-fat diet. The team made its discovery while researching the role of Interleukin-1 in atherosclerosis.
The research team published their results to much fanfare in the spring 2011 issue of The Journal of Hepatology: "Lack of Interleukin-1α or Interleukin-1β Inhibits Transformation of Steatosis to Steatohepatitis and Liver Fibrosis in Hypercholesterolemic Mice", authors: Yehuda Kamari, Aviv Shaish, and Dror Harats of Sheba Medical Center, along with Ron N. Apte of Ben-Gurion University, Charles A. Dinarello of the University of Colorado, and others. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21354232
Yehuda Kamari, MD, PhD, who heads the Angela and Sami Shamoon Vascular Biology Research Unit at the Strassburger Lipid Center, is a specialist in atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. He already has won several prestigious awards for his research and is known as an excellent and devoted lecturer. He is a member of the elite Sheba Medical Center Talpiot Program for Young Medical Leaders of the Future.
Fatty liver disease is a silent killer which builds up over time in the liver, and can lead to liver failure. The number of patients with this condition has been growing exponentially around the world, similar to diabetes. This discovery paves the way towards a possible treatment for the disease by neutralizing IL-1α and/or IL-1β to inhibit development of steatohepatitis.