Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research in fruit flies provides new insight into Barrett's esophagus

Date:
June 27, 2013
Source:
Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Summary:
Research focused on the regulation of the adult stem cells that line the gastrointestinal tract of Drosophila suggests new models for the study of Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the cells of the lower esophagus transform into stomach-like cells. In most cases this transformation has been thought to occur directly from chronic acid indigestion. A new study suggests a change in stem cell function for this transformation.

Research focused on the regulation of the adult stem cells that line the gastrointestinal tract of Drosophila suggests new models for the study of Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus, a risk factor for esophageal cancer, is a condition in which the cells of the lower esophagus transform into stomach-like cells. In most cases this transformation has been thought to occur directly from chronic acid indigestion when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus.

A new study, published June 27, 2013 online in Cell Reports, suggests a different cause, namely a change in stem cell function, for this transformation.

Researchers at the Buck Institute manipulated a signaling pathway (BMP-like Dpp) implicated in the development of Barrett's esophagus. After manipulation, the adult stem cells that normally generate the lining of the esophagus of fruit flies morphed into the type of stem cells that generate stomach cells. "Up until this point, it's not been clear what this signaling pathway does in stem cells of the gastrointestinal tract, or how it influences the regeneration of various types of epithelial cells in the gut of the fly," said Heinrich Jasper, PhD, a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and senior author of the study.

"Barrett's esophagus may not be simply a mechanical response to the overabundance of gastric acid," said Jasper. "Antacids may not be the best means of treating a condition whose development appears to be more complex. This gives us avenues to look for targets for new therapies."

Between five and ten percent of people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) develop Barrett's esophagus, usually after the age of 55. Among that population the risk of developing an esophageal adenocarcinoma is about 0.5 percent per year. Typically before the cancer develops, precancerous cells appear in the Barrett's tissue. Barrett's esophagus may be present for many years before cancer develops. Periodic upper GI endoscopy is often used to monitor those with the condition to watch for signs of cancer development.

The Jasper lab is developing the fruit fly, which shares many genetic pathways with humans, as a model to study gastrointestinal disease. Jasper says his lab is now looking at the impact BMP-like Dpp signaling has on the muscles and sphincters of the gastrointestinal system.

Other Buck Institute researchers involved in the study include Hongjie Li and Yanyan Qi. This work was supported by the National Institute on General Medical Sciences (NIH RO1 GM100196), and the Ellison Medical Foundation (AG-SS-2224-08) to H.J.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hongjie Li, Yanyan Qi, and Heinrich Jasper. Dpp Signaling Determines Regional Stem Cell Identity in the Regenerating Adult Drosophila Gastrointestinal Tract. Cell Reports, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.05.040

Cite This Page:

Buck Institute for Research on Aging. "Research in fruit flies provides new insight into Barrett's esophagus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627124538.htm>.
Buck Institute for Research on Aging. (2013, June 27). Research in fruit flies provides new insight into Barrett's esophagus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627124538.htm
Buck Institute for Research on Aging. "Research in fruit flies provides new insight into Barrett's esophagus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627124538.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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