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Journal: Annals of hepatology

138

The recent discovery of bile acid (BA) receptors and a better delineation of the multiple roles of BAs in relevant biological processes have revamped BA research. The vasoactive actions of BAs were recognized more than three decades ago but the underlying mechanisms of the BA-induced vasorelaxation are now being clarified. Recent evidence shows that the BA receptors FXR and TGR5 are expressed in endothelial cells and may have important effects on both systemic and portal circulation. The availability of genetically engineered mice with ablation of BA receptors and the development of BA receptor agonists has allowed to explore the modulation of XR and, in a lesser extent, of TGR5 in the setting of portal hypertension (PHT) with promising results. In this review, we summarize recent data on how BA-dependent pathways influence several processes that impact in PHT and the preclinical data showing that pharmacological modulation of those pathways may hold promise in the treatment of PHT.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Receptor antagonist, Cardiovascular system, Serotonin, Steroid, Inverse agonist, Vasoconstriction

26

Background and aim. In patients with chronic hepatitis C receiving Peg interferon/ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) who do not achieve ≥ 2log-reduction in HCV-RNA at week 12 (null responders, NR) and in those with ≥ 2log-decrease but detectable at week 24 (partial responders, PR) the probability to achieve the sustained virological response (SVR) is almost null. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of individualized schedule of progressively increased RBV doses in the setting of PEG-IFN/RBV treatment. Material and methods. PR or NR to PEG-IFN/RBV instead of discontinuing treatment were enrolled to receive increasing doses of RBV until a target theoretical concentration ([tRBV]) of ≥ 15 μmol/L (by pharmacokinetic formula based on glomerular filtration rate). HCV-RNA was assessed every 4 weeks and, if detectable, RBV dose was gradually increased until negativization. Twelve weeks later, patients with detectable HCV-RNA discontinued therapy while those with undetectable HCV-RNA continued for further 48 weeks. Results. Twenty genotype-1 patients (8 NR and 12 PR) were enrolled. After 12 weeks 9 (45%) were still HCV-RNA positive and were discontinued, while remaining 11 had undetectable HCV-RNA. One stopped treatment for side effects. Ten completed treatment. Five (all PR) achieved SVR. Side effects incidence was similar to that observed during PEG-IFN/RBV. Conclusions. In conclusion, RBV high doses, according to individualized schedule, increase SVR in PR on a similar extent to that of triple therapy but without increase of side effects. Such treatment should be considered in PR with no access or intolerant to protease inhibitors (PI).

Concepts: Pharmacology, Glomerulus, Renal function, Hepatitis, Dose, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A, Conclusion

1

The primary bile acids (BAs) are synthetized from colesterol in the liver, conjugated to glycine or taurine to increase their solubility, secreted into bile, concentrated in the gallbladder during fasting, and expelled in the intestine in response to dietary fat, as well as bio-transformed in the colon to the secondary BAs by the gut microbiota, reabsorbed in the ileum and colon back to the liver, and minimally lost in the feces. BAs in the intestine not only regulate the digestion and absorption of cholesterol, triglycerides, and fat-soluble vitamins, but also play a key role as signaling molecules in modulating epithelial cell proliferation, gene expression, and lipid and glucose metabolism by activating farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and G-protein-coupled bile acid receptor-1 (GPBAR-1, also known as TGR5) in the liver, intestine, muscle and brown adipose tissue. Recent studies have revealed the metabolic pathways of FXR and GPBAR-1 involved in the biosynthesis and enterohepatic circulation of BAs and their functions as signaling molecules on lipid and glucose metabolism.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Protein, Metabolism, Nutrition, Liver, Fat, Bile, Bile acid

0

The present study aimed to elucidate the potential antifibrotic effects of pinocembrin (PIN), a flavanone found abundantly in honey and propolis, by studying its effect on different oxidative stress, inflammatory and fibrosis markers in an experimental model of CCl4-induced liver fibrosis.

Concepts: Scar, Fibrosis, Cirrhosis, Pinocembrin

0

Kawasaki’s disease (KD) is a systemic vasculitis often seen with viral and bacterial infections. Cholangitis is a known complication in biliary atresia patients post Kasai Portoenterostomy (KP). However KD, in a biliary atresia patient post KP has not been previously reported. A 1 years old girl who had previously undergone a KP for BA, presented with cholangitis which was presumed to be caused by a previous enterobacter infection that she had 2 months ago. However, on treating the cholangitis, the patient developed fever again after ten days which persisted even after changing the antibiotics. By this time she also displayed three of five characteristic features of KD in form of fever, strawberry tongue and cervical adenopathy. Investigations showed high ESR, high CRP, thrombocythemia and dilated coronary vessels on echocardiography. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and steroids caused the symptoms to subside.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Infectious disease, Bacteria, Infection, Intravenous immunoglobulin, Kawasaki disease, Clostridium difficile

0

Hepatitis E in industrialized countries is mainly associated with genotype 3 hepatitis E virus (HEV) and normally causes a sporadic self-limiting disease in immunocompetent individuals. Unlike genotype 3, genotypes 1 and 2 circulate in developing countries, produce severe disease and occur in the epidemic form. Hepatitis E occurring in travellers returning from endemic areas in developing countries is not a novel epidemiological occurrence, however the vast majority of cases remain to be genetically studied. The present study describes two cases of severe acute hepatitis E that required hospitalization for 6 and 9 days in two individuals of Indian nationality that had recently migrated to Portugal to work. The retrieved HEV sequences both belonged to genotype 1 and had a high degree of nucleotide sequence identity, clustering with strains isolated in India and Nepal, in 2013 and 2014. Confirmed HEV genotypes of increased pathogenicity like genotype 1 are being introduced into otherwise naïve populations of industrialized countries such as European countries with consequences difficult to predict. As far as we know the present study is the first in Portugal to describe and genetically characterize imported cases of hepatitis E infection caused by HEV genotype 1.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Hepatitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E

0

Background and rationale for the study. Bacterial translocation is an important triggering factor of infection and mortality in cirrhosis. In a rat model using bile duct ligation (BDL), bacterial translocation appears within 24 h after ligation. The dynamic between TH1/TH2/TH17 cytokines and the integrity of the colonic mucosa in the context of cirrhosis is little known. This study aims to determine the link between bacterial translocation and intestinal inflammation in a cholestasis model. Additionally, alterations of the colonic mucus layer and the bacterial load were also addressed.

Concepts: Bacteria, Digestive system, Liver, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Bile acid, Mucus, Primary sclerosing cholangitis

0

Quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen (qHBsAg) combined with HBV DNA may be useful for predicting chronic hepatitis B (CHB) activity and nucleoside analogue (NA) response.

Concepts: Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A

0

Background & aims. G-allele of PNPLA3 (rs738409) favours triglycerides accumulation and steatosis. In this study, we examined the effect of quercetin and natural extracts from mushroom and artichoke on reducing lipid accumulation in hepatic cells.

Concepts: DNA, Adenosine triphosphate, Liver, Lipid, Glycerol

0

The gene for patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) development. We previously found that Mexican indigenous population had the highest frequency reported of the PNPLA3 148M risk allele. Further, we observed a relationship between M148M genotype with elevated ALT levels in individuals with normal weight, overweight and obese. We sought to investigate whether PNPLA3 polymorphism is associated with NAFLD development in Mexicans.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Allele, Biology, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Fatty liver