Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weight loss helps to oust worms

Date:
January 17, 2013
Source:
Manchester University
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that weight loss plays an important role in the body’s response to fighting off intestinal worms.

Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that weight loss plays an important role in the body's response to fighting off intestinal worms.

Related Articles


The findings have been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens and show that the immune system hijacks the natural feeding pathways causing weight loss. This then drives the defense mechanisms down the correct pathway to expel the worms.

Nearly one quarter of the world's population is infected with gastrointestinal parasites. These prevalent infections often result in a period of reduced appetite resulting in weight loss. However, little is known about the factors controlling these feeding alterations and the reason why they occur.

Scientists from the Manchester Immunology Group and the Institute of Inflammation and Repair studied the immune response system in mice that were lacking immune cells and feeding hormones.The mice were infected with the round worm parasite Trichinella spiralis.

They identified that the mouse immune response to the parasite was behind two periods of reduced feeding through two distinct immune mediators. Interestingly, the immune system was using the hormone cholecystokinin, which usually stops feeding during daily meals to cause a reduction in weight and fat deposits. This then reduced the levels of the fat produced hormone leptin, which can influence the immune response.

To see if this reduction in leptin was beneficial, the researchers restored the leptin levels in the mice during the worm infection. They found that the treated mice did not make the correct immune response to the parasite resulting in a delayed worm expulsion.

Dr John Worthington from the Faculty of Life Sciences carried out the research: "We were quite surprised by what we found during this study. Normally weight loss is associated with a negative immune response but this appears to suggest just the opposite that the immune driven weight loss was actually beneficial to the mouse's ability to resolve an infection and get rid of the worm."

Dr Worthington continues: "Our study provides novel insights into how the immune system interacts with feeding pathways during intestinal inflammation. We hope it will help us to design new treatments for the many millions of people who suffer from parasitic infections of the gut."

Professor McLaughlin added: "This may also have relevance to why other human diseases causing inflammation of the digestive system affect appetite and nutrition."

The laboratories are currently expanding these studies to examine how other feeding hormones interact with the immune system during different infectious diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Manchester University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John J. Worthington, Linda C. Samuelson, Richard K. Grencis, John T. McLaughlin. Adaptive Immunity Alters Distinct Host Feeding Pathways during Nematode Induced Inflammation, a Novel Mechanism in Parasite Expulsion. PLoS Pathogens, 2013; 9 (1): e1003122 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003122

Cite This Page:

Manchester University. "Weight loss helps to oust worms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117183213.htm>.
Manchester University. (2013, January 17). Weight loss helps to oust worms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117183213.htm
Manchester University. "Weight loss helps to oust worms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117183213.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins