Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MGH study identifies enzyme that protects against intestinal bacterial toxin

20.02.2008
Discovery may answer how feeding can prevent infection in critically ill patients

A persistent mystery in human medicine is how the lining of the small intestine, through which nutrients are absorbed, also prevents intestinal bacteria and their toxins from entering the bloodstream and causing serious infections.

A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that a specific intestinal enzyme may be able to block the action of the bacterial toxin involved in the overwhelming infection known as sepsis. The findings, which will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), may also explain why patients recovering from serious injury are less likely to develop infections if they receive gastrointestinal nutrition.

“It’s been known for many years that people who don’t eat, particularly those who are ill or recovering from injury, are more susceptible to infections derived from the gut,” says Richard Hodin, MD, of the MGH Department of Surgery, the study’s senior author. “We know that eating – even small amounts of nutrients delivered through a feeding tube – can help prevent infections, and it may be that the production of this enzyme is the key to that protection. Everyone that takes care of critically ill patients knows the importance of ‘feeding the gut,’ but how that feeding works to prevent infection has been a mystery.”

... more about:
»IAP »LPS »MGH »Toxin »enzyme »intestinal »patients

Intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) is produced by cells lining the small intestine, and several previous studies suggested that IAP might block the action of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule on the surface of many pathogenic bacteria that is responsible for their toxic effects. In order to investigate the normal function of IAP in the intestine – something that has not been understood – the MGH research team conducted a number of experiments with intestinal cell lines and confirmed that those cells’ expression of IAP could block the toxic effects of LPS.

A comparison of normal mice with mice in whom the IAP gene had been knocked out showed that the animals lacking IAP lost their protection against intestinal bacteria. The investigators also showed that IAP expression and the ability to detoxify LPS were decreased markedly when the animals did not eat for two days, a defect that was reversed when feeding resumed.

“Our results show that IAP produced in the intestinal lining and secreted into the gut can detoxify LPS and prevent bacteria from becoming harmful,” Hodin says. “In addition to explaining how feeding can protect ICU patients from infection, these findings may have significant implications for a variety of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease. Studies are ongoing to determine the role that IAP may play in those disorders.” Hodin is a professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.massgeneral.org

Further reports about: IAP LPS MGH Toxin enzyme intestinal patients

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

nachricht In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings
20.02.2018 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast

20.02.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>