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Fatty acids and caveolin-1 are essential in liver regeneration

This press release is also available in Spanish.

Liver regulates lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It also segregates a number of proteins and enzymes, and eliminates toxic substances from the organism. Liver regeneration is a mostly unknown process at a molecular level, although it is essential for the good functioning of the liver, and indispensable in order to carry out some therapeutic strategies, such as living-donor transplant. The journal Science publishes in its last issue a research article where researchers from IDIBAPS, in collaboration with Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and Queensland University (Australia) discover the importance of caveolin-1 in liver regeneration. Without this protein, regeneration does not occur. This research work has been directed by Dr. Albert Pol, one of the first researchers with a Ramn y Cajal contract; and Dr. Carles Enrich, from the Department of Cell Biology and Pathological Anatomy from the Faculty of Medicine of the UB. The first signatories of this article are Manuel A. Fernndez and Cecilia Albor.

Stem cells do not participate in liver regeneration, but hepatocytes, cells of the liver tissue, are able to regain their division capacity when needed. In a normal liver, hepatocytes do not divide, but during regeneration, all liver cells duplicate at least once. For this system to function, a fine regulation system is needed, permitting the hepatocyte to accumulate energetic reserves in the form of lipid accumulations, and starting the genetic machinery for division. IDIBAPS researchers studied the role of caveolin-1 in this process, comparing the regenerative capacity of normal mice and modified mice, which do not express the caveolin-1 gene. Both
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Contact: lex Argem
aargemi@clinic.ub.es
34-932-275-700
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer
18-Sep-2006


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