The liver is truly an amazing organ in that it has a unique capacity to regenerate itself after damage. This means that after the liver is physically damaged (for example, a wound), chemically damaged (by drugs or alcohol), or after an injury or surgery to remove damaged tissue, the liver can regrow back to its normal size even after up to 90% of it has been removed. (1) Normal liver weight is reestablished within 8-15 days. (2)
But many diseases and exposures can harm the liver beyond the point of repair. These include cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure, and certain medication overdose. So, when the liver is injured beyond its ability to regenerate itself, a liver transplant is the treatment of choice. However, the number of people waiting for a liver transplant greatly exceeds the number of available deceased-donor livers.
Phases for the Process of Liver Regeneration
There are three phases in the process of liver regeneration. (3) The first phase is the priming phase. This is the phase where the minutes after the liver detects damage, genes of the liver cells will send signals to prepare the cells for division. During this phase, regeneration primarily is triggered by cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6)), and growth factors released from inflammatory cells. If either one of the cytokines were lost, it could delay the liver regeneration process.
The second phase is the proliferation phase or also called the progression phase. At this phase, the liver cells continue to divide until the liver recovers to its original size. Along with it, DNA synthesis and liver enlargement also happen. Some hormones that may delay liver regeneration in their absence during this phase are including norepinephrine (NE), endothelial growth factor (VEGF), estrogen, and also serotonin. Besides, blood platelets which have a wider role in health and disease may also have a positive factor throughout this phase.
|In a study shows that patients suffering from 70% partial hepatectomy (surgery to remove cancerous tumors from the liver) or two-thirds of the liver is removed would improve the regenerative capacity of the liver if provided with plasma rich in platelets.|
The final phase deals with the termination of liver regeneration. This is the phase where the liver stops dividing itself especially when the normal liver mass/ body mass ratio of 2.5% has been restored. This phase happens by encoding the production of associated proteins to inhibit liver regeneration and induce cell apoptosis. Thus, in the end, liver regeneration would be terminated.
In conclusion, the liver has many functions in the body as well as an amazing capacity to regenerate itself. However, many medical conditions can affect a person’s liver function. This is especially true if a person is a heavy drinker, as excess alcohol can place too great a strain on the liver’s functioning and lead to some conditions where the liver can no more regenerate itself. Maintaining a healthy weight and practicing balanced eating and exercise habits can help maintain liver health.
- Reynolds S. Cells that maintain and repair the liver identified. National Institute of Health. 2021.
- Michalopoulos G. K. Liver Regeneration. J Cell Physiol. 2007 Nov; 213(2): 286-300.
- Tao Y., Wang M., Chen E., and Tang H. Liver Regeneration: Analysis of the Main Relevant Signaling Molecules. Mediators of Inflammation, vol. 2017, Article ID 4256352, 9 pages, 2017.
11 thoughts on “Liver Regeneration”
I have been checking out some of your stories and it’s pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog.
Hello.This article was extremely remarkable, particularly because I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Friday.
Hi there, I found your web site via Google while searching for a related topic, your site came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Very well written information. It will be useful to anybody who employess it, including myself. Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.
Would love to forever get updated outstanding blog! .
Excellent article. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!
May I usefully just tell what a advance to uncover someone that actually understands what they are discussing beyond the internet. You entirely understand how to bring a burden to open and make it important. A lot more people truly obsession to look at this and understand this side of the story. Its surprising youre not more well-liked before you categorically have the gift.
I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you¦ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a great web site.
Perfectly indited written content, Really enjoyed studying.
hi!,I like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.