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Lab-Grown Engineered Human Mini Livers Offer New Insights into NAFLD Drug Failure

August 07, 2019 / GEN

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine claim to be the first to have successfully grown genetically modified miniature 3D human livers in the laboratory, which mimic the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease NAFLD and can be used to test candidate drugs. The teams proof-of-concept studies using the mini livers are published in Cell Metabolism, and indicate how a human gene that is involved in key metabolic processes regulates fat accumulation in the liver. The studies may also explain why one drug candidate against fatty liver disease that seemed promising in mouse models, wasn’t effective in clinical trials. “This is the first time we can create genetically engineered human mini livers with a disease using stem cells in the lab,” said senior author Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and faculty member of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicin...