Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Specialized intestinal cells cause some cases of Crohn's disease

Date:
October 2, 2013
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that Crohn's disease, the inflammatory bowel disorder, can originate from specialized intestinal cell type called Paneth cells.

Scientists have discovered that Crohn's disease, the inflammatory bowel disorder, can originate from specialised intestinal cell type called Paneth cells. As such, they propose that small intestinal Crohn's disease might be a specific disorder of this cell type, providing a possible new target for treatments. The study, by researchers from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University, was published today in the journal Nature.

Related Articles


"If we are able to break down Crohn's disease into subsets by understanding the underlying mechanisms, which we have done here, we hope to develop much more targeted, effective treatments," said Professor Arthur Kaser from the University of Cambridge, one of the lead authors of the paper. "The discovery of the Paneth cells' role in inflammation of the bowel also raises the possibility of entirely novel therapeutic approaches."

The researchers also identified the mechanism by which defects in autophagy, the breakdown and recycling of unnecessary cellular components in the body, can lead to Crohn's disease.

Autophagy had previously been linked to Crohn's disease -- several key genes associated with Crohn's disease play a role in autophagy -- but it was not clear how. Some speculated that since Crohn's disease develops in the intestine, where the immune system is exposed to all the myriads of bacteria in our gut, that defective autophagy might lead to Crohn's disease via an inability to remove bacteria within the cells. However, the new research reveals that autophagy plays a role in keeping in check the inflammatory function of the unfolded protein response, which is activated when the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is stressed.

ER stress is very common in the intestines of Crohn's patients. The researchers speculate that autophagy may remove ER membranes which are rendered 'inflammatory' by the accumulation of misfolded proteins either as a consequence of genetic traits in the unfolded protein response or environmental factors (e.g. from the microbiota). The research shows how autophagy genes interact with ER stress genes, as well as with the environment, to cause disease -- an important aspect for our understanding of complex diseases such as Crohn's disease.

The researchers showed that the interaction of ER stress and autophagy could be therapeutically targeted in their model of the disease. One of the drugs they used was rapamycin, which induces autophagy. Professor Kaser commented on this approach: "A similar drug to rapamycin had been used in a clinical trial for Crohn's disease but failed. However, we speculate that if it was studied in a specific subset of Crohn's, that the drug might actually prove effective."

Crohn's disease is a debilitating, life-long immune-related disease that in the majority of patients starts in early adulthood, and involves cramping pain, diarrhea, weight loss, urgency, perianal fistula formation, abscesses, low grade fever and has a profound impact on quality of life. Flares of the disease are followed by periods of remission, and the individual course cannot be predicted at diagnosis. It is thought to develop in genetically susceptible individuals when they are hit by -- essentially unknown -- environmental factors.

The prevalence of Crohn's disease is 322/100,000, meaning that over 200,000 patients are affected in the UK. Its incidence has been rising, and while in earlier decades it was mostly a disease of the Western world, its incidence and prevalence is picking up throughout the world including China. It is a substantial health care issue.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Timon E. Adolph, Michal F. Tomczak, Lukas Niederreiter, Hyun-Jeong Ko, Janne Bφck, Eduardo Martinez-Naves, Jonathan N. Glickman, Markus Tschurtschenthaler, John Hartwig, Shuhei Hosomi, Magdalena B. Flak, Jennifer L. Cusick, Kenji Kohno, Takao Iwawaki, Susanne Billmann-Born, Tim Raine, Richa Bharti, Ralph Lucius, Mi-Na Kweon, Stefan J. Marciniak, Augustine Choi, Susan J. Hagen, Stefan Schreiber, Philip Rosenstiel, Arthur Kaser, Richard S. Blumberg. Paneth cells as a site of origin for intestinal inflammation. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12599

Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Specialized intestinal cells cause some cases of Crohn's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002131436.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2013, October 2). Specialized intestinal cells cause some cases of Crohn's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002131436.htm
University of Cambridge. "Specialized intestinal cells cause some cases of Crohn's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002131436.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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