Immune mechanisms in liver diseases

Published on January 31, 2023   38 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Immune System - Key Concepts and Questions

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Hello, my name is Paul Klenerman. I'm a Truelove Professor at the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and I've got a talk on immune mechanisms in liver diseases.
In this talk, I am going to discuss first some basic concepts about liver immunology and tolerance and why the liver immune system is a little bit special. Then I will talk about some of the specific components of the liver immune system. Then I'm going to talk about immune mediated pathology, in particular, viral hepatitis, focusing on one particular type hepatitis B, and mention along the way other immune mediated pathologies.
The liver is a very unusual organ from a lot of perspectives, but particularly from an immunological one. One really good example of this is that Roy Calne in the 1960s started to do transplantation experiments in pigs. He found that he could transplant livers across transplantation barriers, for example, the kidney can only be transplanted between animals that share MHC. Sharing an MHC is essentially the key barrier that needs to be overcome to have successful transplantation of a kidney, or a lung, or a heart. For a liver, none of this makes any difference. You don't need to have any sharing of MHC and it's well tolerated. The other feature of this is that the pigs can also tolerate other organs once they've had a liver. This was all set out in some very nice papers by Roy Calne, including this one, Strange English PIGS, that were published in the 1960s.