June 22, 2024
Liver Regeneration

Unraveling the Mysteries of Liver Regeneration: A New Approach to Combat Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatohepatitis (MASH)

Researchers at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH), Open Targets, the University of Cambridge, and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the UK have made significant strides in understanding the mechanisms behind liver regeneration during chronic Liver Disease. This process, which enables the liver to heal from chronic injuries, could potentially lead to the progression of liver disease towards cancer.

The team achieved this breakthrough by conducting single-cell analyses on numerous biopsies from patients with Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatohepatitis (MASH), a progressive form of Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatotic Liver Disease (MASLD). The findings from these analyses were further validated using cultured organoids in the lab.

Led by Ludovic Vallier, Einstein professor for Stem Cells in Regenerative Therapies at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité and Max-Planck-Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, the team aims to use liver organoids for cell-based therapies to treat patients with liver failure.

MASH and its less severe form, MASLD, are the leading causes of liver disease, with an estimated 20-40% of the population affected by the benign form and approximately 115 million currently living with the chronic form. Despite recent advancements, the only treatment for end-stage MASH is liver transplantation, which involves heavy immune suppressive treatment and is only accessible to a limited number of patients due to the scarcity of organ donors.

To tackle this major healthcare challenge, Dr. Chris Gribben and Dr. Vasileios Galanakis from Vallier’s team, in collaboration with Dr. Irina Mohorianu from the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge and Dr. Michael Allison from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, focused their research efforts on this pressing issue.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
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