Spotlight On Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
This theme aims to characterise and manipulate key cellular and molecular systems which underlie normal and pathological cell function.
One area of research within this theme looks to examine and understand the role of ageing in the decline of the regenerative capacity of the liver and its role in liver related diseases.
Many organ systems exhibit significant age-related deficits, but, based on studies in old rodents and elderly humans, the liver appears to be relatively protected from such changes.
A remarkable feature of the liver is its capacity to regenerate its mass following partial hepatectomy. Reports suggest that ageing compromises the liver’s regenerative capacity, both in the rate and to the extent the organ’s original volume is restored. In addition to this, no liver disease is specific to old age; however, as the population ages geriatricians are frequently managing older patients with chronic liver diseases. Understanding the effects of ageing on the liver will hopefully help give insight into the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in this organ’s unique regenerative abilities and how they are then subverted in age-related liver disorders such that novel therapies can be applied to their treatment.