RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful technique for silencing the expression of genes.
It has been described as the most important scientific advance in recent years.
However, the potential of RNAi to treat, or prevent, disease in live animals is unproven.
In this study, Dr Judy Lieberman and colleagues determine that RNAi can successfully prevent liver injury and death in a mouse model of hepatitis.
The team's findings are published in the March issue of Nature Medicine.
|Treatment allowed survival in 2 models of autoimmune hepatitis.|
The researchers used RNAi to silence Fas, which is implicated in a wide array of liver diseases, including autoimmune, viral and transplant rejection hepatitis.
The team intravenously injected inhibitory RNAs against Fas, without the need for a delivery vector or virus.
This treatment allowed mice to survive in 2 models of autoimmune hepatitis, the researchers report.