Growth hormones are usually considered to play a key role in reducing inflammation and increasing survival rates after liver surgery. But in a study using mice, the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute Project has investigated how the body’s growth hormone assists with liver regeneration after surgery.
Dr Andrew Brooks, who led the study, concluded that mice did not survive surgery to remove two-thirds of the liver if they did not possess the receptor needed for transmitting growth hormone signals to cells. However, those who did survived the procedure.
Dr Brooks remarked, “We found growth hormone-induced production of a protein called HLA-G, which suppressed the inflammatory response after surgery.” “By administering the HLA-G protein to mice deficient in the growth hormone receptor, we were able to reduce inflammation and enable liver regeneration and survival,” he continued.
The HLA-G protein plays a vital role in suppressing inflammatory responses and this research has solidified this notion. This is extremely beneficial while treating liver transplant patients post-surgery. The doctor observed, “It’s thought this treatment may account for the reduction in mortality rates in liver failure patients who have been treated with the growth hormone.”
Liver failure leads to death of patients whose parts of the liver have been removed surgically to eradicate benign or malignant tumours. On the other hand, patients with high levels of HLA-G protein undergo low levels of rejections of liver transplants.
“It is hoped this study will lead the researchers to explore the growth hormone or HLA-G as a new therapy to improve patient outcomes following organ transplants,” Dr Brooks concluded.
(with inputs from ANI)