Scientists (Department of Surgery and in the Tissue Injury & Repair Group, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Edinburgh.) have identified primitive liver cells possibly dormant from the earliest developmental stage of a human being – which have the potential to mature into different cells types and help repair a failing liver.

Their newly-published findings could pave the way for alternative treatments using cell replacements instead of organ transplants for those with liver failure.

According to the head of the group Dr James Ross, potentially, cell replacement therapies could provide alternative treatments that would avoid difficulties associated with obtaining sufficient donor organ transplantation.

Dr Ross also added that, as they have now able to identified primitive cells with the potential to mature into different cell types within and out with the liver. It is possible that these cells lie dormant in the adult liver and may be the source of repair cells that are activated by severe liver injury.

The research team is based in the Department of Surgery and in the Tissue Injury & Repair Group, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Edinburgh.

The findings are published in the current edition of The American Journal of Physiology- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

Link [www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060706175049.htm]