A new liver cell has been identified, which may eradicate the need of liver transplant in the near future. As there is an alarming rise in need of a liver transplant, this cell could be a boon for thousands. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, the scientists have identified a new type of cell called a hepatobiliary hybrid progenitor (HHyP), that forms during our early development in the womb. Surprisingly, HHyP also persist in small quantities in adults, and these cells can grow into the two main cell types of the adult liver (Hepatocytes and Cholangiocytes) giving HHyPs stem cell-like properties. The team examined HHyPs and found that they resemble mouse stem cells which have been found to rapidly repair mice liver following major injuries, such as occurs in cirrhosis. ‘Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK, and the third most common cause of premature death and the number of cases is continuing to rise. However, the discovery new liver cell may revolutionize the medical world in a positive way.’Read More.. Lead author Dr. Tamir Rashid from the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine at King's College London said: "For the first time, we have found that cells with true stem cell-like properties may well exist in the human liver. This, in turn, could provide a wide range of regenerative medicine applications for treating liver disease, including the possibility of bypassing the need for liver transplants." Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK* and the third most common cause of premature death and the number of cases is continuing to rise. It can be caused by lifestyle issues such as obesity, viruses, alcohol misuse or by non-lifestyle issues such as autoimmune and genetic mediated disease. Symptoms of liver disease include jaundice, itching, and feelings of weakness and tiredness and in more severe cases, cirrhosis. The only treatment for severe liver diseases at present is a liver transplant which can lead to a lifetime of complications and for which the need for donor organs greatly outweighs the increasing demands. "We now need to work quickly to unlock the recipe for converting pluripotent stem cells into HHyPs so that we could transplant those cells into patients at will. In the longer term, we will also be working to see if we can reprogramme HHyPs within the body using traditional pharmacological drugs to repair diseased livers without either cell or organ transplantation," said Dr. Rashid.Source: Eurekalert << Ultra-modern Imaging Technology can Identify Patients With ... Number of Polio Cases Touches 47 in Pakistan >> Recommended Reading Living-donor Liver Transplant Offers Many Advantages Over Deceased Donor Living-donor liver transplant (LDLT) may be a better option compared to deceased donor liver transplant (DDLT) with lesser complications and better survival of recipients and overall patient outcomes. READ MORE Bio-artificial Liver, A Less-invasive, Long-Term Option For Acute Liver Failure Spheroid Reservoir Bioartificial Liver device could allow physicians to treat and extend the lives of more patients cost-effectively, with fewer risks. READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Color Blindness Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Fongitar (Zinc Pyrithionone) More News on: Hepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?