Liver research offers new hope for treatment

Li Qian
Local scientists develop a "video recorder" to monitor cell proliferation in the liver which is offering new ideas for research into liver regeneration and treatment of diseases.
Li Qian

Local scientists have developed a “video recorder” to monitor cell proliferation in the liver, providing new ideas for liver regeneration research and the treatment of liver diseases.

The liver has roughly 100,000 liver lobules, the functional units of the organ, and each liver lobule has a bunch of hepatocytes, the major cell type in the liver that makes up 70-85 percent of its volume.

Hepatocytes generate new hepatocytes through cell proliferation to replenish the liver. The liver lobules are in three zones, but traditional methods can’t identify in which zone hepatocytes have a stronger proliferation ability as the proliferation is hard to detect.

Researchers from the Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have now developed a new method, ProTracer, to trace cell proliferation.

The method has been used in mice, and months of results have shown where new hepatocytes are mainly generated.

This has provided a new approach in cell proliferation detection and new directions for liver regeneration studies and treatments for liver diseases.

The research has been published on top scientific journal Science.

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