Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers explore role of fungus in digestive disorders

08.06.2012
Study published in Science indicates that fungus plays a role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Cedars-Sinai researchers say their examination of the fungi in the intestines suggests an important link between these microbes and inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

In the new study, published in the June 8 issue of Science, researchers at Cedars-Sinai’s Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute identified and characterized the large community of fungi inhabiting the large intestine in a model of the disease.

The digestive tract is home to a large number of micro-organisms. In fact, with an estimated 100 trillion bacteria residing in the gut, microbes outnumber human cells in the body. Some are necessary to aid in digesting food, producing necessary vitamins and suppressing the growth of harmful microbes. Others are harmful to the body, contributing to illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and obesity.

Modern DNA-sequencing technology has revolutionized the study of these microbes in the last decade, allowing the role of bacteria in disease to be understood more clearly, as is shown in the Cedars-Science research published in Science.

“It’s long been recognized that fungi must also exist in the gut, but we’re among the first to investigate what types, how many, and whether they’re important in disease,” said David Underhill, PhD, associate professor and director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine, who led the study. “We were truly stunned to see just how common fungi are, identifying more than 100 different types” and seeing linkages to digestive disorders.

An estimated 1.4 million Americans have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, a chronic digestive disorder, and about 30,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. Ulcerative colitis, one of the most common types of IBD, causes inflammation and ulcers in the top layers of the lining of the large intestine. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding, fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite. Ulcerative colitis patients can be at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

“This study takes us an important step closer to understanding how fungi contribute to disease, as well as significantly expanding our understanding of what types of fungi are living in our bodies,” said Iliyan Iliev, PhD, a Cedars-Sinai research scientist and lead author on the study.

To determine fungi contribute to inflammatory disease, the study homed in on a protein called Dectin-1, produced by white blood cells and used by the immune system to detect and kill fungi. In an animal model of the disease, researchers found that the protein is important in protecting against inflammation caused by indigenous fungi. The finding has significant implications for human disease, as scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Genetics Institute found a variant of the gene for Dectin-1 that is strongly associated with severe forms of ulcerative colitis.

Nicole White | Cedars-Sinai News
Further information:
http://www.cshs.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>