A study in The American Journal of Pathology, investigators report that treatment with aleglitazar, a dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha/gamma (PPARα/γ) agonist, reduced inflammation, vasoconstriction, angiogenesis, mucosal disruption, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α overproduction in cirrhotic rats with PH. This suggests a promising new approach for treating liver cirrhosis.

Increased pressure in the veins leading to the liver, known as portal hypertension (PH), accounts for the majority of medical complications and deaths associated with cirrhosis. Therefore, a tremendous need exists to find drugs that simultaneously treat the multiple pathologies associated with chronic PH.

Researchers found that treatment with aleglitazar for 21 days produced a number of beneficial changes in cirrhotic rats. In the liver, aleglitazar suppressed hepatic fibrogenesis, neoangiogenesis, and vasoconstrictor responsiveness. In the splanchnic system, aleglitazar reduced neoangiogenesis, vasodilatation, and portosystemic shunts. It also decreased intestinal mucosal injury and hyper-permeability.

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