A newly discovered type of cell which may be able to regenerate liver tissue may allow treating liver failure without the need for transplant, recent U.K.-based research suggests.
A group of researchers from the Kings College in London has conducted the research using a single-cell RNA sequencing to identify the cell that may help to bypass liver transplant, according to an article published in Nature Communications on Friday.
Doctor Tamir Rashid from the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine said that this is the first time they have found out that cells with true stem cell-like properties may well exist in the human liver.
"This, in turn, could provide a wide range of regenerative medicine applications for treating liver disease, including the possibility of bypassing the need for liver transplants," Rashid said.
According to the research, the newly discovered cell which was called a hepatobiliary hybrid progenitor (HHyP), forms during our early development in the womb, while the cell is also found in small quantities in adults and these cells can grow into two main cell types in the adult liver.
The research also revealed that the HHyPs resemble mouse stem cells which have been found to rapidly repair mice liver following major injuries, such as the ones that occur in cirrhosis.