Research Focus
Running Trials
Liver diseases
Bile duct and
gallbladder diseases
Pancreatic diseases
Tumor immunology and
molecular oncology

Research in liver diseases

Ischmemia / reperfusion in the liver

  • Ischemia / Reperfusion Injury and Liver Transplantation
  • The role of serotonin in ischemia and reperfusion injury
  • Prevention of reperfusion injury and microcirculatory failure in macrovesicular steatotic mouse liver by omega-3 fatty acids
  • Achievements
    • Scientific
    • We used a unique model of arterialized partial liver transplantation in mice. We could show that recipients of small-for size livers (30%) havean improved survival rate after treatment with pentoxifylline.
    • Establishment of mouse models of cholestasis
    • The role of energy charge in aging livers: pre-treatment of animals with glucose reduces ischemic injury of the liver.
    • Platelets have no direct impact on the pathogenesis of normothermic I/R injury, but mediate tissue repair and liver regeneration.
    • Investigations into the mechanism of ischemia reperfusion injury in fatty livers led to the conclusion that these livers exhibited reduced sinusoidalperfusion and impaired leukocyte function.
    • Preoperative dietary omega-3 PUFAs protect against reperfusion injury in a mouse model of fatty liver.

    • Prof. Dr. Tian received a poster prize from the ZKF (4th Day of Clinical Research)

  • Collaborations
    • PD Dr. W. Jochum, Institut für Klinische Pathologie, UniversitätsSpital Zürich
    • PD Dr. B. Ludwig, Forschungsabteilung, Kantonsspital St. Gallen

  • Selected References
    • Dahm F, Georgiev P, Clavien PA. Small-for-Size Syndrome After Partial Liver Transplantation: Definition, Mechanisms of Disease and Clinical Implications. Am J Transpl 2005; 5:2605-2610.
    • N. Selzner, M. Selzner, W. Jochum, R. Graf, B. Ammann-Vesti, P.-A. Clavien. Mouse Livers with Macrosteatosis are more Susceptible to Normothermic Ischemic Injury than those with Microsteatosis. J. Hepatology 2006, 44:694-70.

Liver perfusion (artificial liver perfusion system; Mouse/PIG Model)

  • Hypothermic oxygenated mouse liver perfusion
  • Hypothermic oxygenated pig liver perfusion
  • Achievements
    • Scientific
    • Establishement of an isolated perfused pig liver systemPersonnel

  • Selected References
    • Dutkowski P., Graf R, Clavien PA. Rescue of the cold preserved liver by hypothermic oxygenated machine perfusion. 2006 American J. Transpl. 6:903-12
    • Dutkowski P, Furrer K, Tian Y, Graf R, Clavien PA. Novel short-term hypothermic oxygenated perfusion (HOPE) system prevents injury in rat liver graft from non-heart beating donor. Ann Surg. 2006;244:968-76

Regeneration of the Liver

  • Liver regeneration
  • Regeneration in embolized and ligated livers
  • Small-for-size syndrome in major liver resection an partial liver transplantation
  • Achievements
    • Scientific
    • Demonstration that serotonin is a key mediator in liver regeneration
    • Serotonin is not involved in ischemic injury but promotes regeneration

    • Dr. M. Lesurtel received the SGC award for his lecture at the annual meeting of the Swiss Society of Surgery.

  • Collaborations
    • PD Dr. Odermatt, Labor für Molekulare Diagnostik, Institut für Klinische Pathologie
    • PD Dr. W. Jochum, Institut für Klinische Pathologie
    • Prof. M. Bader, Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin
    • Prof. A. Pietrangelo, Modena, Italy

  • Selected References
    • Lesurtel M, Graf R, Aleil B, Walther DJ, Tian Y, Jochum W, Gachet C, Bader M, Clavien PA, Platelet-derived serotonin mediates liver regeneration. 2006, Science 12:104-7


  • Liver metastases of colorectal cancer
  • Sphingolipids in cancer cell death
  • Achievements
    • Scientific
    • Colorectal cancer cells reduce liver regeneration by producing TGF_
    • Cellular distribution of sphingolipids in blood

  • Collaborations
    • Prof. Dr. Y.A. Hannun and Prof. Dr. A. Bielawska, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA
    • PD Dr. W. Jochum, Department of Pathology, University Hospital Zurich

  • Selected References
    • Dindo D, Dahm F, Szulc Z, Bielawska A, Obeid LM, Hannun YA, Graf R, Clavien PA. Cationic long-chain ceramide LCL-30 induces cell death bymitochondrial targeting in SW403 cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2006 5:1520-9.
    • Dahm F, Nocito A, Bielawska A, Lang KS, Georgiev P, Asmis LM, Bielawski J, Madon J, Hannun YA, Clavien PA. Distribution and dynamic changes of sphingolipids in blood in response to platelet activation. J Thromb Haemost. 2006, 4:2704-9.
    • Heinrich St, Jochum W, Graf R, Clavien PA. 2006, Portal vein ligation and partial hepatectomy differentially influence growth of intrahepatic metastasis and liver regeneration in mice. J. Hepatology 45:35-42
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