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Glycine-N-methyltransferase (GNMT) is essential to preserve liver homeostasis. Cirrhotic patients show low expression of GNMT that is absent in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples. Accordingly, GNMT deficiency in mice leads to steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and HCC. Lack of GNMT triggers NK cell activation in GNMT(-/-) mice and depletion of TRAIL significantly attenuates acute liver injury and inflammation in these animals. Chronic inflammation leads to fibrogenesis, further contributing to the progression of chronic liver injury regardless of the etiology. The aim of our study is to elucidate the implication of TRAIL-producing NK cells in the progression of chronic liver injury and fibrogenesis. For this we generated double TRAIL(-/-)/GNMT(-/-) mice in which we found that TRAIL deficiency efficiently protected the liver against chronic liver injury and fibrogenesis in the context of GNMT deficiency. Next, to better delineate the implication of TRAIL-producing NK cells during fibrogenesis we performed bile duct ligation (BDL) to GNMT(-/-) and TRAIL(-/-)/GNMT(-/-) mice. In GNMT(-/-) mice, exacerbated fibrogenic response after BDL concurred with NK1.1(+) cell activation. Importantly, specific inhibition of TRAIL-producing NK cells efficiently protected GNMT(-/-) mice from BDL-induced liver injury and fibrogenesis. Finally, TRAIL(-/-)/GNMT(-/-) mice showed significantly less fibrosis after BDL than GNMT(-/-) mice further underlining the relevance of the TRAIL/DR5 axis in mediating liver injury and fibrogenesis in GNMT(-/-) mice. Finally, in vivo silencing of DR5 efficiently protected GNMT(-/-) mice from BDL-liver injury and fibrogenesis, overall underscoring the key role of the TRAIL/DR5 axis in promoting fibrogenesis in the context of absence of GNMT. Overall, our work demonstrates that TRAIL-producing NK cells actively contribute to liver injury and further fibrogenesis in the pathological context of GNMT deficiency, a molecular scenario characteristic of chronic human liver disease.
The indications for duct-to-duct (DD) biliary reconstruction in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for small children are still controversial. In this study, the feasibility of DD biliary reconstruction versus Roux-en-Y (RY) biliary reconstruction was investigated in terms of long-term outcomes. Fifty-six children who consecutively underwent LDLT with a weight less than or equal to 10.0 kg were enrolled. Biliary reconstruction was performed in a DD fashion for 20 patients and in an RY fashion for 36 patients. During a minimum follow-up of 2 years, the incidence of biliary strictures was 5.0% in the DD group and 11.1% in the RY group. Cholangitis during the posttransplant period was observed in the RY group only. There were no deaths related to biliary problems. This study shows that DD reconstruction in LDLT for small children (weighing 10.0 kg or less) is a feasible option for biliary reconstruction.
© 2014 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Recent changes in Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) condition for participation, using benchmark volume/outcomes requirements for certification, have been implemented. Consequently, the ability of a transplant center to assess its risk tolerance is important in successful management. An analysis of SRTR data was performed to determine donor/recipient risk factors for graft loss or patient death in the first year. Each transplant performed was then assigned a prospective relative risk (RR) of failure. Using a Monte-Carlo simulation, transplants were selected at random that met the centers' acceptable risk tolerance. Transplant center volume was fixed and its risk tolerance was adjusted to determine the impact on outcomes. The model was run 1000 times on centers with varying volume. The modeling demonstrates that centers with smaller annual volumes must use a more risk taking strategy than larger volume centers to avoid being flagged for CMS volume requirements. The modeling also demonstrates optimal risk taking strategies for centers based upon volume to minimize the probability of being flagged for not meeting volume or outcomes benchmarks. Small volume centers must perform higher risk transplants to meet current CMS requirements and are at risk for adverse action secondary to chance alone.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Thrombocytopenia is common after LT for pediatric end-stage liver diseases. Seventy-six pediatric patients (≤15 yr old) who underwent LDLT were evaluated for the incidence and predictive factors of post-transplant thrombocytopenia (PLT <100, 000/mm(3) ). The prevalence of thrombocytopenia at two wk and at 12 months post-transplant was 22/76 (28.9%) and 11/62 (17.7%), respectively. Thrombocytopenia at two wk after LDLT was significantly associated with age at transplant, preoperative PLT, GRWR, acute rejection, and CMV infection in univariate analysis. Moreover, preoperative PLT, GRWR, and acute rejection had a strong correlation in multivariate analysis. Thrombocytopenia at 12 months after LDLT was associated only with preoperative PLT. We also demonstrated that vascular complications caused thrombocytopenia and that successful treatment recovered the PLT. These results showed that, in addition to considering the preoperative PLT, post-operative monitoring of platelets is very helpful for the early detection of adverse events related to the graft liver in pediatric liver transplant patients.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.