Udayan Apte, PhD
Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics
PhD, University of Louisiana at Monroe
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh
Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Wnt/Beta-catenin pathway, Hippo Kinase Pathway, HNF-4alpha, liver regeneration, knockout mice, partial hepatectomy, hepatic progenitor cells, liver development
The liver is known for its remarkable capacity to regenerate following partial hepatectomy (PH) or after drug-induced liver injury. Our lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms behind liver regeneration following acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure, a condition that affects over 25,000 people each year and has very limited treatment options. Other aspect of this project is to identify and validate biomarkers of Liver regeneration also called as Regeneration Associated Molecular Patterns (RMAPs), which will aid the clinicians to determine the status of innate liver regeneration in acute liver failure patients. Along with cell culture and animal models to study liver regeneration after acute liver failure, we have developed clinical collaborations, which allow us to confirm our findings in patient samples of acute liver failure.
The second project in the lab is focused at determining the mechanism of liver size regulation. The precise size regulation and control of hepatic growth observed in during liver regeneration is fascinating and provides insights into the central mechanisms involved in cell cycle control in the organism. Studying these mechanisms are of immense importance because they not only provide understanding of basic mechanisms that regulate cell growth but also provide an opportunity to study cell cycle control mechanisms that could be deregulated in liver cancers. Termination of liver regeneration is studied using two models, postnatal liver growth and liver regeneration after PH. The underlying hypothesis behind this project is that the mechanisms that terminate cell proliferation and regulate organ size following liver regeneration are dysfunction in HCC and play a role in pathogenesis of liver cancers.
We are studying role of three signaling pathways including HNF-4alpha-mediated signaling, Wnt/beta-catenin pathway and Hippo Kinase pathway in liver regeneration after acute liver failure and in the termination of regeneration.