Hepatic fibrosis is a condition caused by scars tissues buildup on the liver which limits the function of the liver.
Most cases of hepatic fibrosis is a result of an imbalance of production and dissolution of collagens in extracellular matrix caused by overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines in the acute phase of infection or interruption in the stages of healing.
Hepatic fibrosis is an early stage of cirrhosis, a leading cause of liver failure and liver cancer.
Patients with hepatic fibrosis are asymptomatic. However, long-term accumulated of liver scar induced cirrhosis can cause symptoms of jaundice, variceal bleeding, ascites, a condition of the accumulation of protein-containing fluid within the abdomen and portosystemic encephalopathy.
According to the statistics provided by the Johns Hopskin Medicine, cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases are common disease-related causes of death in the U.S. Approximately 31,000 people in the U.S. die each year from cirrhosis.
In hepatitis C virus perspective, approximately 3.5 to 4.6 million people in the U.S. are chronically infected with the virus, leading to the death of 2,000 people annually.
Most cases of the advanced stages of liver fibrosis are treated by liver transplantation. However, according to the University of California in the development of new therapy for the treatment of liver fibrosis, targeting the steps in HSC activation may be a therapeutic target for liver fibrosis.
A list of the targets can be found by clicking the link (2) of the reference area. Please read Fig. 5 Proposed therapies for liver fibrosis.
3,3'-Diindolylmethane or DIM are phytochemicals derived from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol, belonging to the group of Indoles, found abundantly in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale, etc.
With an aim to find a potent natural ingredient for the treatment of hepatic fibrosis with no side effects, scientists evaluated the effects of 3,3'-Diindolylmethane (DIM) on excessive collagen deposition produced by activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs).
Both HSC-T6 cell line and primary HSCs included in the study were examined for the expression of α-smooth muscle actin and collagen I, after injection of DIM.
During the experiment, DIM inhibited the expression of miR-21 by deactivating the underlying HSC through suppressing the signaling pathway associated with cell differentiation linking to inflammation and autoimmunity.
Where overexpression of microRNA-21 (miR-21) has been found to play a crucial role in the biological functions and diseases, including development, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammation.
The inhibition of miR-21 overexpression was attributed to the effect of DIM in the modulation of the activity of the transcription factor, AP-1, a transcription factor that plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression in response to a variety of stimuli, including cytokines, growth factors, stress.
The findings suggested that DIM in vivo process the potential in attenuating liver fibrosis induced by thioacetamide, according to the assessment of the collagen deposition and profiles of profibrogenic markers.
Dr. Zhang Z, the lead scientist wrote in the final report, "DIM shows potential as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of hepatic fibrosis".
Taken altogether, 3,3'-Diindolylmethane derived from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol may be considered a supplement for the prevention and treatment of hepatic fibrosis, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of 3,3'-diindolylmethane in form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) 3,3'-Diindolylmethane ameliorates experimental hepatic fibrosis via inhibiting miR-21 expression by Zhang Z1, Gao Z, Hu W, Yin S, Wang C, Zang Y, Chen J, Zhang J, Dong L. (PubMed)
(2) New Developments on the Treatment of Liver Fibrosis by Yukinori Koyama, Jun Xu, Xiao Liu, and David A Brenner. (PMC)
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