Biochemistry Science Fair Project
Efficacy of Estrogens and Progesterone in Hepatic Fibrosuppression


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Project Information
Title: Efficacy of Estrogens and Progesterone in Hepatic Fibrosuppression
Subject: Biochemistry
Subcategory: Medical Biochemistry
Grade level: High School - Grades 10-12
Academic Level: Advanced
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Medium
Awards: Google Science Fair Finalist
Year: 2013
Description: This project explores regressive properties of progesterone, estriol, and estrone in hepatic fibrosis, a scarring process caused by liver inflammation. Prior research has shown these female sex hormones may have preventive effects, but has not established their regressive properties. This project aims to find the hormone most potent in its regressive properties in rat hepatic stellate cell (HSC) cultures, to obtain the lowest effective dosage and hence, reduce side effects of therapy. Activated HSC-T6 cells were treated with hormones, and fibrotic markers were quantified to determine treatment efficacy. this research could provide insight on treatment modalities for potential estrogen-deficient patients.
Link: www.googlesciencefair.com...
Background

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a result of advanced liver disease. It is characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis (scar tissue) and regenerative nodules (lumps that occur due to attempted repair of damaged tissue). These changes lead to loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcoholism, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and fatty liver disease, but has many other possible causes. Some cases are idiopathic (of unknown cause).

Ascites (fluid retention in the abdominal cavity) is the most common complication of cirrhosis. It is associated with a poor quality of life, increased risk of infection, and a poor long-term outcome. Other potentially life-threatening complications are hepatic encephalopathy (confusion and coma) and bleeding from esophageal varices. Cirrhosis is irreversible, and treatment usually focuses on preventing progression and complications. In advanced stages of cirrhosis the only option is a liver transplant.

Cirrhosis has many possible manifestations. These signs and symptoms may be either as a direct result of the failure of liver cells or secondary to the resultant portal hypertension. There are also some manifestations whose causes are nonspecific but may occur in cirrhosis.

Generally, liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment could stop or delay further progression and reduce complications. A healthy diet is encouraged, as cirrhosis may be an energy-consuming process. Close follow-up is often necessary. Antibiotics are prescribed for infections, and various medications can help with itching. Laxatives, such as lactulose, decrease risk of constipation; their role in preventing encephalopathy is limited.

Alcoholic cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse is treated by abstaining from alcohol. Treatment for hepatitis-related cirrhosis involves medications used to treat the different types of hepatitis, such as interferon for viral hepatitis and corticosteroids for autoimmune hepatitis. Cirrhosis caused by Wilson's disease, in which copper builds up in organs, is treated with chelation therapy (for example, penicillamine) to remove the copper.

Regardless of underlying cause of cirrhosis, alcohol and paracetamol, as well as other potentially damaging substances, are discouraged. Vaccination of susceptible patients should be considered for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

See also:
wikipedia.org...

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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