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Stopping Fibrosis

September 6, 2016

Understanding the mechanism behind fibrosis could lead to new ways to prevent organ failure.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Keeping organs and muscles from breaking down. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

You may never have heard of fibrosis, but there’s a good chance it could affect you or a loved one: it’s the creation of scar tissue within organs, and it happens in the intestine in crohn’s disease, the liver in cirrhosis, and the heart after a heart attack. It’s even behind age-related muscle degeneration. In the journal Science Immunology, University of British Columbia researcher Kelly McNagny and his colleagues report discovering what causes it in a mouse model of crohn’s disease.

KELLY MCNAGNY (University of British Columbia):

So fibrosis results from inflammatory cells stimulating cells to produce this matrix or scarring. And we actually found what we think are the inflammatory cells that drive that process.

HIRSHON:

What’s more, they found a way to block their activity. McNagny says the work could lead to new treatments for a variety of illnesses, including age-related organ failure. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon