Ongoing Research Funded by DHF

A Novel Protective Mechanism in the Bile Ducts of Patients with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

2018  | Disease: Liver/Hepatology

Principal Researcher: Richard M. Green, MD

Principal Investigator: Richard M. Green, MD

A chronic bile duct and liver disease, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) affects more than 50,000 Americans and can progress to cirrhosis, liver failure, and bile duct cancer. Currently, the only effective therapy is liver transplantation. Better understanding the pathogenesis of PSC is urgently needed to develop new therapies. In recent cell culture and animal studies, Dr. Green and his colleagues focused on a protective cell signaling pathway: the unfolded protein response (UPR). They found that the UPR is activated when bile flow is impaired, and mice lacking UPR genes in their liver are highly susceptible to injury from bile duct obstruction. Now moving forward with the first human investigations examining UPR, Dr. Green aims to determine how it is activated in the bile ducts of patients with PSC. The team plans to study bile duct tissues obtained during endoscopic procedures performed for bile duct obstruction. The identification of “protective” genes and proteins could lead to new drug targets and, ultimately, the development of novel medical therapies.

Researcher Bio

To receive Digestive Health Foundation updates on research, free education events, and the 2019 Gala, please fill in your information and click 'Submit.'

Thank you, and welcome!

We will not give or sell your contact information to anyone and will only send communications to your inbox when we have exciting news or events to share.