Call us: 1.877.283.7882 | Monday–Friday: 8:00 AM–4:30 PM ET

Private MD News

Home | News | Autoimmune Diseases

Scientists find cause behind autoimmune hepatitis

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

Cause behind autoimmune hepatitis found

A new animal study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has uncovered a mechanism responsible for the development of autoimmune hepatitis. The mechanism, a gene mutation, interferes with the activity of some cells in the immune system and causes them to target the liver.

According to the Mayo Clinic, autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the body's immune system attacks the liver and results in inflammation. Gone untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Previously, it was unclear what causes the condition, but the Mount Sinai study may have shed some light on the phenomenon.

The researchers sought to explain why T-cells would attack healthy tissues in the body and lead to inflammation and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis and lupus. To find out what causes these reactions, they looked at depleted supplies of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) in mice. mTECs are supposed to teach T-cells when they should attack tissue, so a lack of them would theoretically cause a number of autoimmune diseases. However, without mTECs, the mice's T-cells went straight for the liver.

"We thought that deleting Traf6 would trigger an autoimmune reaction due to a depletion of mTECs, but did not expect the autoimmune response to be specific to the liver," said Konstantina Alexandropoulos, lead author of the study. "These findings provide an exciting new animal model to study autoimmune hepatitis. We hope that this research will pave the way for new therapies to address a significant unmet need for people with this disease."

Treating autoimmune hepatitis
Lab tests are necessary to detect autoimmune diseases or the conditions that put people at risk of them. Currently, autoimmune hepatitis can be treated if it is detected early on. Doctors prescribe medications to suppress the immune system and stop it from attacking healthy tissue. In severe cases, a liver transplant may be necessary.

Related Articles from Private MD:

Share on Facebook

Subscribe to Private MD Health News RSS Feed: Subscribe

News Categories:

Advanced Lipid Treatment I   Allergy Testing   Anemia and RBC disorders   Autoimmune Diseases   Bariatric Lab Testing   Blood and Blood Diseases   Breast   Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers   Celiac Disease Testing   Chlamydia   Coagulation and blood clotting disorders   Colon   Diabetes   DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing   Drug Screening   Environmental Toxin Testing   Female Specific Tests   Gastrointestinal Diseases   General Health   General Wellness   Heart Health and Cholesterol   Herpes   HIV   HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos   Hormones and Metabolism   Infectious Diseases   Infertility Testing-Male   Infertitlity Hormone Testing   Kidney Diseases   Leukemia and WBC disorders   Liver   Liver Diseases   Lyme Disease   Male Specific Tests   Menopause/Peri-Menopausal Diagnosis   Musculoskeletal Diseases   Organ Specific Testing   Ovarian   Prostate   Sexually Transmitted Diseases   Thyroid Diseases   Transgender Hormone Testing-female to male   Transgender Hormone Testing-Male to Female   Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment   

Visit the Health News Archive: Click Here

Questions about online blood testing or how to order a lab test? Click here to get started or call us toll-free at 1.877.283.7882. Our professionals are ready to assist you.

Back to top