Aspirin can prevent liver damage that afflicts millions

Jan 26, 2009

Simple aspirin may prevent liver damage in millions of people suffering from side effects of common drugs, alcohol abuse, and obesity-related liver disease, a new Yale University study suggests.

The study in the January 26 edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation documents that in mice, aspirin reduced mortality caused by an overdose of acetaminophen, best known by the brand name Tylenol. It further showed that a class of molecules known as TLR antagonists, which block receptors known to activate inflammation, have a similar effect as aspirin. Since these agents seem to work by reducing injury-induced inflammation, the results suggest aspirin may help prevent and treat liver damage from a host of non-infectious causes, said Wajahat Mehal, M.D., of the Section of Digestive Diseases and Department of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine.

"Many agents such as drugs and alcohol cause liver damage, and we have found two ways to block a central pathway responsible for such liver injury," Mehal said. "Our strategy is to use aspirin on a daily basis to prevent liver injury, but if it occurs, to use TLR antagonists to treat it."

Promising drugs that have failed clinical trials because of liver toxicity might be resurrected if combined with aspirin, Mehal said.

"This offers the exciting possibility of reducing a lot of pain and suffering in patients with liver diseases, using a new and very practical approach," Mehal said.

Citation: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Jan. 26, 2009

Source: Yale University

Explore further: Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Advancing medicine, layer by layer

Jul 02, 2014

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor ...

Most detailed picture ever of key part of hepatitis C

Nov 28, 2013

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The new data reveal ...

Recommended for you

Neutralising antibodies for safer organ transplants

3 hours ago

Serious complications can arise following kidney transplants. If dialysis is required within the first seven days, then the transplanted organ is said to have a Delayed Graft Function (DGF), and essentially ...

User comments : 0