Discovery Offers Hope for Crohn’s Disease Sufferers.
The scientists at the University of British Columbia have made a discovery that could hopefully lead to treatments for Crohn’s disease. The disease is an inflammatory bowel disease where the intestines of patients become blocked by thickened, damaged and scarred connective tissue known as fibrosis. And when fibrosis occurs, surgical intervention is then needed in order to restore proper digestion.
Crohn’s patients have been known to have multiple surgeries and it’s quite the disease to live with but people do a wonderful job at managing Crohn’s but the news that there may be treatment is amazing, especially for those dealing with Crohn’s disease.
Science Immunology has outlined that scientists have discovered a mutation that prevented mice from developing any type of fibrosis after being infected with a type of salmonella that mimics the symptoms of Crohn’s disease patients. The mutation was able to switch off a hormone receptor that’s responsible for stimulating the body’s immune response.
Kelly McNagny, professor of medical genetics and co-director of the UBC Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) opened up about the hormone receptor. She said:
“We found what we think are the inflammatory cells that drive fibrosis,” Kelly McNagny stated. “The gene that was defective in those cells is a hormone receptor, and there are drugs available that may be able to block that hormone receptor in normal cells and prevent fibrotic disease.”
Even more, McNagny and his colleagues are hopeful that their discovery could be applied to other types of tissue that experience fibrosis.
“Fibrosis is a response to chronic inflammation, but it is also a process that occurs during normal aging. If you can reverse this, you’ve essentially found a way to promote regeneration rather than degeneration,” said lead author Bernard Lo, a PhD candidate at BRC.
Liver cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease, scarring from heart attacks and muscle degeneration all result in tissue fibrosis, McNagny. stated “We think that we can potentially block complications of all these age-related fibrotic diseases by dampening these particular inflammatory cell types,” he stated.”
And now they just need to move forward with the next step because this is amazing news.
The next step for McNagny’s lab will be to test drugs to find out whether they can stop or reverse fibrosis in mice. What do you guys think about the news? Do any of you have to battle Crohn’s disease? Let us know in the comments below and we hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday.
Biomedical Videos: Discovery offers hope for Crohn’s disease sufferers
“The orphan nuclear receptor ROR alpha and group 3 innate lymphoid cells drive fibrosis in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease” appears in Science Immunology.
The study received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and AllerGen NCE Inc., the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network.
Watch a video about the work here: https://youtu.be/MR8-zU8-NM0