Similarity of hepatocytes from liver and from stem cells improved

August 15, 2022

Research with stem cells is becoming increasingly important, because stem cells can develop into any body cell – skin cells, nerve cells or organ cells such as liver cells, the so-called hepatocytes. Stem cells can therefore be used, for example, in the therapy of organ damage or as an alternative to animal experiments. However, there are still major differences between hepatocytes obtained from a liver and those obtained from stem cells. Researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environments and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have successfully identified an important reason for this difference, so that the two cell variants can be more similar in the future.

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Interruption of bile acid uptake by liver cells after paracetamol overdose mitigates liver damage

June 10, 2022

Poisoning with paracetamol (acetaminophen – APAP) is a common cause of liver failure. However, not all the correlations that lead to liver damage from APAP are yet known. Especially the role of bile acids is unclear. The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environments and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) has therefore investigated why the concentration of bile acids increases in the liver after APAP poisoning. The researchers have published the latest findings in the Journal of Hepatology: The bile acids are repeatedly fed into the liver through a circuit instead of flowing directly out of the liver. Interrupting this circulation massively reduces liver damage.

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When does liver cirrhosis develop into liver cancer? New study to identify risk factors

Aug 12, 2021

Worldwide, liver cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths and the incidence rate for this tumour disease is increasing. Liver cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, when only systemic therapies are possible. In a new research project, researchers from the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) therefore want to identify the risk factors for the transition from liver cirrhosis to liver cancer in order to facilitate early monitoring and intervention. The project is part of the LiSyM-Cancer project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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Karolina Edlund receives funding for spatial resolution of tissue samples

Jul 28, 2021

The European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) regularly awards funding to researchers to be able to analyse spatial biomarkers in cancer research more precisely (European Whole Transcription Atlas Grant). This year, Karolina Edlund from the IfADo research area Toxicology is one of the winners. The scientist wants to perform spatially resolved sequencing of tissue to better understand the early forms of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).

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New research project analyses different disease stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease for therapeutic steps

Jun 21, 2021

In a new research project, the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) and partner institutions are analysing the different stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, from benign steatosis to cancer development. The aim is to identify the mechanisms that initiate the different stages of the disease. Based on this, suitable time windows for therapeutic measures are to be developed. The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation).

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New insights into the functioning of the liver

In Germany, as many as five million people suffer from liver diseases. The liver is a resilient and complex organ which we do not understand enough even in its basic functioning. A team at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) is now providing fundamentally new insights into the function of the liver to produce bile and transport it through ‘canaliculi’: According to the study, there is a stagnant liquid in these canaliculi and the constituents of bile move in this standing liquid primarily by diffusion. These findings overturn long-standing assumptions about how the liver secretes bile. They are published in the journal “Hepatology”.

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