Monocytes-macrophages in liver injury and regeneration
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Moore, Joanna Kirsty
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Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) and Acute Liver Failure (ALF) are serious medical syndromes. Current therapeutic options consist of managing complications, and liver transplant. Even if liver transplantation is thought to be suitable for CLD or ALF patients, there are not enough organs available and thus increasingly more deaths occur on the transplant waiting list. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop additional therapies. This thesis firstly systematically reviews trials in autologous cell therapies as possible treatments for patients with cirrhosis. The published literature is imperfect and the difference in trial design means it has not been possible to conduct a meta-analysis. Regardless of these shortcomings, cell therapy is a potentially positive prospect. In ALF and CLD monocyte-macrophages have diverse roles within the liver. Monocyte and immune cell changes in ALF are investigated and it is demonstrated for the first time that patients with paracetamol induced ALF have a significantly altered blood compartment and that these changes correlate with patient outcome. It is possible that these results may help stratify which patients may spontaneously survive and which patients may require an emergency liver transplant. Furthermore, modulation of these changes may improve outcomes for patients. The thesis also examines monocyte-macrophages in cirrhotic patients and demonstrates the feasibility of differentiating cirrhotic patients’ monocytes into functional macrophages, comparable to healthy volunteers in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) environment. A first in-man trial using macrophages infused to patients with cirrhosis as a potential new treatment is also detailed. Finally, this thesis outlines developmental work for cell therapy in patients with cirrhosis in the multi-centre REALISTIC trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive; standard medical care, Granulocyte Stimulating Factor (GCSF) injections alone or GCSF combined with repeated stem cell infusion.