August 17, 2012
Health Science Post
'ARC' proteins could reverse Vaginal delivery safe in preterm births acute liver failure
cientists claim to have found that the recently dis covered protein could reverse acute liver failure in humans, following its success in experiments done on mice. In a new study by German researchers, the liver failure was reversed and the mice recovered completely and they hope to soon be able to test this approach in clinical trials with patients. The researchers utilized the recently discovered protein ARC (apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain), which serves as the body's own survival switch. ARC is present in heart, skeletal muscle and the brain, but not in the liver. In cancer cases, apoptosis is deactivated in the tumor cells allowing the cancer cells to grow. Researchers are looking for ways to reactivate apoptosis to drive the proliferating cancer cells to die out. However, in acute liver failure the problem is not too little but rather too much apoptosis. The researchers have fused ARC to a noninfectious frag-
ment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), called TAT for short. The researchers used TAT as a shuttle to transfer this survival-switch construct into the liver.
ARC reaches other organs via the bloodstream, not only the liver. "Moreover," he pointed out, "since TAT-ARC only has to be administered for a short time, a cancer risk can be largely excluded" "ARC is very fast acting, and this is a huge advantage, because in an emergency there is not much time for treatment. And when the massive damage is over, the liver is quite capable of regenerating itself," researcher and specialist in internal medicine and cardiology at Helios Klinikum BerlinBuchsaid Dr Stefan Donath said
in a press release. Mice with acute liver failure were given an intravenous or intraperitoneal injection with the construct. "Within just a few minutes the fusion protein TAT-ARC reached the liver of the animals and immediately began to take effect. ARC was able to stop the apoptosis of the liver cells, and all of the animals completely recovered," Donath added. ARC reaches other organs via the bloodstream, not only the liver. "Moreover," he pointed out, "since TAT-ARC only has to be administered for a short time, a cancer risk can be largely excluded." During their study, the researchers also discovered a new active mechanism of ARC, which apparently is responsible for the protective function of this protein in the liver. Acute liver failure is a lifethreatening disease, characterized by a sudden, massive death of liver cells. About 200 and 500 patients suffer from acute liver failure in Germany each year. -PTI
aginal delivery for early preterm fetuses present ing head first, or vertex presentation, had a high rate of success with no difference in neonatal mortality compared to caesarean delivery, a new study, led by Indian origin researcher, has revealed. For breech births, however, the failure rate of vaginal delivery was high and planned caesarean delivery was associated with significantly lower neonatal mortality. "Selecting a route of delivery at less than 32 weeks' gestation is a difficult clinical decision given the high rate of infant mortality and morbidity as well as the maternal risks associated with caesarean delivery," says lead investigator Uma M. Reddy, MD, MPH, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. "For vertex-presenting fetuses less than 32 weeks' gestation, we saw no improvement in neonatal mortality with a planned caesarean delivery," she said. Dr. Reddy and her colleagues
used data from the Consortium on Safe Labor (CSL), a study conducted by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development, National Institutes of Health. The investigators first categorized the indications for preterm delivery: preterm labor, preterm
"Selecting a route of delivery at less than 32 weeks' gestation is a difficult clinical decision given the high rate of infant mortality and morbidity" premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), or fetal/maternal issues such as preeclampsia, placental abruption, or severe maternal medical disease. Maternal or fetal indications were responsible for 45.7 per cent of early preterm deliveries, PPROM for 37.7 per cent, and preterm labor for 16.6 per cent.