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A biochemist from the CIMA discovers the protective role of a molecule in the treatment of liver diseases

The results of the doctoral research on Amphiregulin, by the researcher Elena Erroba, have already been published in specialized journals

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FOTO: Manuel Castells
23/10/06 13:21 Mª Pilar Huarte

The results of the doctoral research on Amphiregulin, by the researcher Elena Erroba, have already been published in specialized journals
Elena Erroba Esquíroz has just presented her dissertation in the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra. This researcher from the CIMA has participated in the discovery of the protective role of the molecule Amphiregulin (AR) in various in vivo models of acute liver damage.

As the biochemist explained, "in a diseased liver, there is a serious loss of function and of hepatic mass, due to the death of the hepatocytes, cells of the liver. Therefore, diverse molecular mechanisms are activated in order to protect the cells against death, and to recuperate hepatic mass during the disease."

Project and Patent

The research undertaken by Elena Erroba confirms that "AR participates in these defense mechanisms of the liver, since it exercises a protective role against the death of the hepatocytes and stimulates the regeneration of the hepatic mass." Therefore she suggests that "using AR to treat patients with acute liver failure, or during liver transplant surgery, may be an effective therapy. Nevertheless, it should be administered in a controlled manner, since AR can also participate in the development of liver cancer."

The doctors Carmen Berasáin and Matías ávila, researchers in the area of Genetic Therapy and Hepatology of the CIMA, were the directors of this doctoral research project, which took place within the framework of a project that has produced a patent. The results obtained by Dr. Erroba, based on observations taken from clinical samples, and from tests carried out in animal models, have been previously published in specialized scientific journals, such as Cancer Research, Gastroenterology and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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