Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene discovery linked to increasingly diagnosed gastrointestinal disease

02.02.2006


Study offers first molecular insight into eosinophilic esophagitis



Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have discovered the first gene associated with eosinophilic esophagitis, one of a number of eosinophil-related diseases in which the body produces abnormally large amounts of white blood cells that can lead to allergy related illnesses. In eosinophilic esophagitis, the esophagus is overwhelmed with white blood cells and as a result patients of all ages develop symptoms that mimic illnesses such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

The study, which is featured on the cover of the February 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, explains the critical role of the gene, eotaxin-3, in disease.


"In this paper we uncover the first molecular insight into the disease by identifying a genetic program that distinguishes it from other forms of esophagitis (such as esophageal reflux)," according to Marc E. Rothenberg, M.D., Ph.D., the corresponding author of the study and director of the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s.

The genetic fingerprint in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis was compared to the fingerprint in control patients and patients with standard reflux disease. The researchers found a striking genetic signature for eosinophilic esophagitis. Even though eosinophilic esophagitis affects patients of all ages and is more common in males, the genes were similar regardless of gender, age and the allergic status of the patients. Importantly, they were completely distinct from the gene expressions in patients with reflux esophagitis.

Previous studies by Dr. Rothenberg and other Cincinnati Children’s collaborators across multiple disciplines have shown the rate of eosinophilic esophagitis has risen so dramatically in recent years that it may be more prevalent than other inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease. But up until now, the pathogenesis of eosinophilic esophagitis has not been clearly understood.

The research study, led by the study’s first author Carine Blanchard, Ph.D., a research fellow in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s, examined the gene expression profile in the esophageal biopsies. Out of the entire human genome, containing approximately 30,000 genes, the gene that most correlated with eosinophilic esophagitis was eotaxin-3, an already known powerful eosinophil activating protein. This data, combined with analysis of the eotaxin-3 gene sequence in patients, strongly places the disease onus on eotaxin-3.

Patients with eosinophilic esophagitis usually show symptoms of chest and abdominal pain, dysphagia, heartburn, vomiting and food impaction (occurs when food gets stuck in the throat). It is diagnosed by a combination of testing, including skin allergy tests, but most importantly, it requires analysis of esophageal tissue specimens obtained by endoscopy.

Eosinophilic esophagitis is commonly treated by a combination of medications and a change in diet. Many patients are so allergic to food that they can no longer eat anything. As a result, they are fed a simple elemental diet through a feeding tube. It is a chronic illness, but with proper management, most patients lead functional lives.

Dr. Rothenberg and his team of physicians and researchers (including Philip E. Putnam, M.D., and Margaret H. Collins, M.D., both of Cincinnati Children’s) have shown that eosinophilic esophagitis affects one in 2,000 children in Hamilton County, Cincinnati. Health care providers are beginning to see cases of eosinophilic esophagitis in many countries, including England, Japan, Spain, Australia, Switzerland and Italy, and evidence is emerging that the incidence calculated by Dr. Rothenberg’s team is likely to hold true in these countries.

"It is hopeful that these findings will contribute to predicting the general outcome of eosinophilic esophagitis and building a molecular classification for diagnosis and therapy of esophagitis," Dr. Rothenberg said. The identification of eotaxin-3 as a cause for eosinophilic esophagitis now places attention on the development of drugs that block this protein.

Amy Reyes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cchmc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>