LiCA Study- Liver Cell Analysis
Single Cell Analysis from Surplus, Clinically Indicated, Liver Biopsy Tissue.
University Of Edinburgh
Duration of Study in the UK
5 years, 10 months, 26 days
The liver has a very large number of roles in the body, including detoxification (removing poisons), nutrition control, blood-clotting and making important proteins. It has a unique capacity to repair itself after damage and regenerate (grows back). However liver fibrosis (scarring) and subsequent cirrhosis is a leading (and increasing) cause of premature death in the UK. Liver fibrosis occurs for a number of reasons including fatty liver damage, alcohol consumption, toxins, viruses and the immune system. The mechanisms that determine whether a liver heals and regenerates or scars and loses function are not well understood and no effective drugs currently exist to influence this process.
Within the liver there are many groups of cells, performing different functions and interacting with each other. Immune cells from the blood also play a role in the daily process of regeneration and repair. These cells and have been implicated when this process is altered to cause fibrosis. New technologies such as “Single-cell RNA sequencing” and “Big Data Bioinformatics” analysis allows us to better understand this highly complex system. This in turn could allow us to identify new targets to prevent liver fibrosis and stimulate repair.
We hope to study the liver and blood cells of patients with a wide range of liver diseases; ranging from healthy livers to those with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis to better understand the populations (groups) of liver cells, how they function and how they interact. The purpose of the study is to take tissue from all patients undergoing liver biopsy so as to look at a spectrum of liver disease, from healthy livers through to those with advanced cirrhosis.
North West - Greater Manchester West Research Ethics Committee
Date of REC Opinion
11 Feb 2020