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Liver Cancer Development Is Boosted By B Bells

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Liver Cancer Development Is Boosted By B Bells

(CTN News) – Researchers at Liver Cancer at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) were trying to determine the role gastrointestinal B cells play in the development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-induced liver cancer (HCC).

They discovered that B cells promote liver cancer dual-sided.

An article describing their findings has been published in the Journal of Hepatology.

The prevalence of fatty liver cancer and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in the world is reaching pandemic proportions, according to Mathias Heikenwälder, PhD, a group leader at the German Cancer Research Center.

There are two ways in which B cells are harmful to the liver: In the small intestine, they trigger T cells to behave autoaggressively in response to direct contacts between cells.

In the culture dish, the researchers were also able to replicate this in a similar way when they brought together B cells from NASH mice with CD8 T cells from a healthy animal, causing the CD8 T cells to become auto-aggressive.

It is also important to note that the immunoglobulin A (IgA) produced by the B cells triggers the activation of another type of immune cell, macrophages, which carry special receptors for IgA on their surface.

As a result of macrophage activation, liver cancer fibrosis worsens.

As a result of switching off the B cells in the NASH-affected animals with a specific antibody, both the inflammation driven by the autoreactive T cells as well as the fibrosis regresses.

Besides the tissue samples examined by Heikenwälder and his team, samples were also taken from patients who had gone through bariatric surgery in addition to those who had not.

As expected, the findings strongly resemble those found in mice suffering from NASH: Compared with healthy individuals, the tissue from NASH patients exhibited significantly more B cells, higher levels of IgA, and a higher number of activated macrophages than the tissue from healthy individuals.

It appears that B cells, along with IgA, have a crucial role in driving the pathological cascade in the development of liver cancer, as stated by Heikenwälder in his summary of the results.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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