Wellcome Research Round-up

Not a bubble drink….

Wellcome Trust Blog

Our fortnightly look at news from the Wellcome Trust research community.

New treatment to boost immunity in patients with liver disease

wrr picInfusing the globular protein albumin into the veins of patients who suffer from cirrhosis could make them less susceptible to life-threatening infections.

A study published in Nature Medicine, led by Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow Professor Derek Gilroy and Dr Alistair O’Brien, suggests that cirrhosis patients overproduce the hormone prostaglandin E2 which prevents white blood cells ingesting, and killing, bacteria. Levels of the protein albumin, which aids the inactivation of this hormone,  were also found to be lower than usual. The team propose that infusions of albumin could therefore reverse immune suppression.

“We have discovered that the immune system of patients with advanced liver disease can be boosted for at least 24 hours by infusing albumin into a vein which reduces PGE2’s effects” said Dr Alistair…

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