The European Association for the Study of the Liver rewards a Valdecilla research on chronic cholestatic diseases

14 de May de 2019

Carried out in collaboration with CIC bioGUNE, this study promotes the development of a therapy that attenuates liver injury and slows the progression of these pathologies.

A research project of the digestive pathology group of the HUMV and the IDIVAL that paves the way for the development of a therapy that attenuates liver injury and slows the progression of chronic cholestatic diseases, result awarded at the recent International Congress of the European Association for the Study of the Liver held in Vienna.

The award work, presented by Dra. Paula Iruzubieta, Valdecilla Digestive Service, identifies a type of protein, MCJ, as an important regulator of mitochondrial function and liver damage associated with cholestasis, which is a decrease or interruption of the bile flow.

According to the study, the absence of this protein protects liver cells from oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, mechanisms that are involved in the pathogenesis of chronic cholestatic diseases.

Although primary sclerosing cholangitis is considered a rare disease, it is the second most frequent cause of chronic cholestatic disease in adults, with a prevalence of around 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In fact, it is a progressive liver pathology that currently lacks medical therapy capable of slowing its progression, usually progressing to liver cirrhosis and can lead to cancer in the bile ducts.

Titled 'Role of methylation-controlled J-protein, endogenous repressor of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, in cholestatic liver disease', this project is directed by Dra. María Luz Chantar, researcher at CIC bioGUNE and the CIBERHED, with which Valdecilla maintains a close collaboration.

The award obtained at the International Congress of Vienna has been awarded by the American organization 'PSC partners seeking a cure', founded in 2005 and which provides education and support to patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis and their families. This group also collects funds for the investigation of this cholestatic liver disease, financing up to now more than 3 million dollars in innovative projects to achieve an effective therapy of this pathology.