Lay Summaries - Volume 1 Issue 6

Lay Summary: The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is a circulating protein known to reduce the abundance of receptors on the surface of liver cells charged with the task of lipid uptake from the circulation. Although PCSK9 deficiency is known to cause lipid accumulation in mice and in cultured cells, the toxicological implications of this observation have not yet been reported. In this study, we demonstrate that PCSK9 can protect against cytotoxicity in cultured liver cells treated with a saturated fatty acid and we also show that Pcsk9 knockout mice develop increased liver injury in response to a high-fat diet.
Lay Summary: Hydrothermal duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR) is an endoscopic technique designed to treat metabolic disease through ablation of the duodenal mucosa. DMR is a safe procedure which improves glycaemia and hepatic indices in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. DMR is an insulin-sensitizing intervention which can be complementary to lifestyle intervention approaches and pharmacological treatments aimed at preserving the pancreas and liver from failure. DMR is a potential therapeutic solution for patients with type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Lay Summary: Autoimmune hepatitis is an autoimmune condition of the liver, usually treated with medications that suppress the immune system, such as steroids. However, some patients do not respond to this treatment. We analysed the safety and efficacy of rituximab in patients who were not responding to first- or second-line therapies. Rituximab was safe and improved liver blood tests in 70% of patients over a 2-year follow-up period, while enabling steroid doses to be reduced in two-thirds of patients, which is a very positive clinical outcome.