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: US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

Help for African rhino poaching survivors

Jun 21, 2013

In Africa hundreds of rhinos are shot or immobilised by poachers every year to supply ground up horn for the Asian medicine market. It is reputed to make men virile and treat anything from stomach ache to ...

Giving transplanted cells a nanotech checkup

Feb 05, 2013

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have devised a way to detect whether cells previously transplanted into a living animal are alive or dead, an innovation they say is likely to speed the development of cell replacement ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

Apr 17, 2014

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...