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Biology, neuro- and behavioral sciences

Dietz, L.E.R. (2016) Biology, neuro- and behavioral sciences. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Abstract

Liver fibrosis, the precursor of cirrhosis, is a progressive disease leading to the impairment of hepatic function. It is characterized by excessive myofibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition. In this essay, the cause and pathology of liver fibrosis are discussed. In the search for treatment, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have come forward as an excellent candidate for cell therapy. Preclinical evidence has shown the antifibrotic nature of MSCs in liver fibrosis, having effect on many different aspects of the pathology. The effect of MSCs on ECM, myofibroblasts and hepatocytes in liver fibrosis are discussed, as well as their immunomodulatory and differentiating capacities. It has become clear that MSCs repair liver tissue mainly through paracrine mechanisms. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), such as microvesicles (MVs) and exosomes (the smallest vesicles), probably have a distinct role in these mechanisms. Exosomes and MVs carry nucleic acids, proteins and lipids to communicate with the environment. Several studies have demonstrated that MSC-derived MVs and exosomes are promising therapeutic agents, although the exact mechanisms remained unclear. Next, the essay focuses on liver fibrosis, starting with an explanation of the function of MVs and exosomes during liver pathology and elaborating on the pioneering study of Li et al, using MSC-derived exosomes against liver fibrosis. Subsequently, the possible roles of exosomes in the treatment of liver fibrosis are discussed and finally guidelines for further research are provided.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:26
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:27
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/14921

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