Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - LEVITATES (Targetting VAP-1 to treat chronic inflammatory liver disease)

The broad objective of the research project has been to facilitate the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat immune-mediated liver disease. Liver disease of this nature has a number of different origins, such as diabetes and obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and infection, and is a significant socio-economic burden in the developed world which is increasing in prevalence. By studying the mechanisms by which immune cells enter the liver the project researchers have identified a protein called Vascular Adhesion Protein-1 (VAP-1) which appears to be a key player in the inflammatory disease process when excessive numbers of inflammatory cells enter the liver resulting in the build-up of diseased (fibrotic) tissue.

A particularly important result of the research project has been to characterise in greater detail the way in which VAP-1 helps cells causing inflammation to enter the liver and how this may contribute to the development of liver fibrosis. This has allowed us to design and test drugs which block VAP-1 function and prevent immune cells entering the liver so reducing the inflammation. When this hypothesis was tested in mouse models of inflammatory liver disease (liver fibrosis) it was shown that blocking VAP-1 with a function blocking antibody (biological drug) reduced the degree of liver damage. The results are expected to lead to the development of novel therapeutic options to treat inflammatory liver disease in man.

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