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Stopping Fibrosis

September 6, 2016

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



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.


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