Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene mutation in Crohn’s disease stops body-bug chat

20.05.2005


A gene commonly mutated in Crohn’s disease sufferers is responsible for allowing the body’s immune system to ‘chat’ to microbes in the gut. Researchers at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and Imperial College London who have uncovered the role of this gene say that it will now be possible to develop better tests for this debilitating disease, and will help researchers to uncover the genetic basis of Crohn’s and similar inflammatory bowel diseases.



Writing in the journal The Lancet tomorrow (21 May), the Hammersmith researchers describe the effect that mutations in the gene, known as NOD2/CARD15, has on the release of immune system molecules in the gut. Normally, the gene produces a protein that is involved in recognising bacteria in the gut. This recognition prevents the initiation of an early immune response, which subsequently leads to the lining of the gut becoming inflamed. In around a quarter of Crohn’s disease sufferers, mutations in the NOD2/CARD15 gene prevent this communication from taking place.

“The NOD2/CARD15 system was the first genetic defect found to be associated with Crohns disease, but until now we haven’t been able to understand exactly why this caused the disease,” comments study leader Dr David van Heel, gastroenterologist at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College London. “Our studies suggest that this defect does not allow the immune system to work properly in the very earliest stages of mounting an immune response."


“The body normally senses microbes present in the gut that are essential in maintaining normal gut function, and there is regular cross-talk between the gut lining and the microbes that they contain. This functional defect probably disrupts this natural process.”

“We think that this new finding provides a basis for new tests for Crohn’s disease, with implications for both research and future treatments,” adds Dr van Heel, gastroenterologist at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College, who led the study.

Crohn’s disease affects between 30,000 and 60,000 people in the UK, with between 3,000 and 6,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The number of people with Crohn’s disease has been rising steadily, particularly among young people.

It can affect anywhere from the mouth to the anus but most commonly affects the small intestine and/or colon. It causes inflammation, deep ulcers and scarring to the wall of the intestine and often occurs in patches. The main symptoms are pain in the abdomen, urgent diarrhoea, general tiredness and loss of weight. Crohn’s is sometimes associated with other inflammatory conditions affecting the joints, skin and eyes.

"These results, although some way from providing clinical treatment, are extremely encouraging," comments Professor Subrata Ghosh, medical advisor to NACC - the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, and one of the co-authors of the study. "In addition to helping patients with this faulty gene, we may find that patients without this particular genetic defect have similar disruptions to other parts of the NOD2/CARD15 system. Our hope is that this will lead to the identification of further genetic defects, and ultimately to new treatment strategies."

Simon Wilde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hhnt.nhs.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>