Problems like obesity and alcoholism appear to chronically trigger in the liver a receptor known to amplify inflammation in response to invaders like bacteria, scientists report. The relentless, increased activity of TREM-1 in turn accelerates injury and scarring of the liver, a first step toward cirrhosis and liver cancer, says Dr. Anatolij Horuzsko, reproductive immunologist in the Georgia Cancer Center and Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
TREM-1, or triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1, is known to help turn up inflammation short-term to help us deal with external invaders. It has increased activity immediately after an injury as well, when increased inflammation, damage cleanup and collagen production aid healing.
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