Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel genetic finding offers new avenue for future Crohn's disease treatment

13.07.2009
Case Western Reserve researchers identify links between inflammatory disease genes

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine identified a novel link between ITCH, a gene known to regulate inflammation in the body and NOD2, a gene which causes the majority of genetic Crohn's Disease diagnoses.

ITCH, when malfunctioning, causes widespread inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, uncontrolled skin inflammation, and pulmonary pneumonitis. Derek Abbott, M.D., Ph.D., and his team of researchers found that ITCH also influences NOD2-induced inflammation.

These findings, published in the August 11th issue of Current Biology, suggest a common pathophysiology exists between multiple inflammatory diseases. The unexpected finding of the interaction between these genes offers the possibility of a new drug target, which would be effective in treating Crohn's disease – a chronic disorder causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are striking an increasing portion of the population. They result from an overstimulation of the immune system by the infectious and environmental agents individuals face daily. Unfortunately, despite their increasing prevalence in the Western world and morbidity among younger patients, the pathophysiology of these enigmatic diseases is poorly understood and for this reason, treatment for these diseases is less-than-ideal.

This finding links two key signaling pathways to the pathophysiology of diseases associated with ITCH and NOD2 and opens new avenues of pharmacologic pursuit to target these diseases. With an eye towards clinical applications, Dr. Abbott and his colleagues' next step is to determine if currently used pharmacologic agents can be useful in this model of inflammatory disease. They will do so using small molecule drug screening to identify potential drugs that target ITCH.

Of those diagnosed with Crohn's disease, 30 percent have the NOD2 mutation in their genes. For these individuals, this discovery opens up the possibility of individually-tailored treatments with better efficacy toward a particular patient's disease.

"This research is an excellent example of how scientific investments benefit the public with measureable gains. In this case, it led to unexpected insights and opened new fields of endeavor for pharmacological manipulation in this serious chronic disease," says Derek Abbott, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "This sort of study will help uncover the pathologic mechanism of disease and ultimately lead to more rational and carefully measured treatment."

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 770 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine's primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. http://casemed.case.edu.

Jessica Studeny | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.case.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>