Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover new disorder that causes chronic diarrhea in children

20.07.2006
Discovery may help further stem cell research for type I diabetes and intestinal disorders

UCLA researchers have unraveled a mysterious condition that causes congenital diarrhea and intestinal failure in children. The new disorder, named enteric anendocrinosis, is caused by a mutation in the gene Neurogenin-3 (NEUROG3).

The findings represent the first description of a disease-causing mutation of NEUROG3 in humans and the first new discovery within the past 15 years of a disorder that causes intestinal failure.

Patients with this condition have an abnormally low number of endocrine cells in their intestine and also eventually develop type I diabetes.

"Rare diseases help us understand how the body works," said principal investigator, Dr. Martín G. Martín, professor of pediatrics in the division of gastroenterology and nutrition at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA. "We now know that the hormone-producing endocrine cells of the intestine have an essential role in facilitating nutrient absorption. These findings have already led to the detection of subset forms of enteric anendocrinosis."

Martín and his colleagues describe their research in the July 20 issue of the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.

The study focuses on three children who each showed symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration during the first few weeks of life, following consumption of formula.

Researchers used genomic DNA from the patients to screen for mutations of NEUROG3. They then tested the ability of the mutations to alter NEUROG3's function.

Martín anticipates that this discovery will provide the framework to further understand type I diabetes, as well as other diarrheal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease and diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

"Since patients with enteric anendocrinosis develop type I diabetes, we hope stem cell researchers can apply the knowledge from this discovery to the role of NEUROG3 in the development of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas," Martín said.

"In mice, Neurogenin-3 initiates the development of the endocrine cells in the pancreas, including the insulin-producing cells," said Dr. Michael German, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Hormone Research Institute. "In the absence of Neurogenin-3, no insulin-producing cells are generated in the pancreas, and the animals develop diabetes at birth. Therefore, Neurogenin-3 has been termed a 'pro-endocrine' gene, since it drives progenitor cells to mature into endocrine cells."

"The cure for enteric anendocrinosis and diabetes--two diseases that involve failure of a specific type of cell--may eventually be derived from stem cells that are able to replace the dysfunctional cells and produce the right kind of hormones," said Dr. Doron Kahana, a pediatric gastroenterology research fellow in Martín's lab.

There are about 30 known causes of chronic diarrhea. It affects approximately 5 percent of the population and only rarely occurs during the first several weeks of life.

Unlike acute diarrhea--which is normally caused by a virus, bacteria or parasite and generally improves within a few days or weeks--chronic diarrhea persists and can lead to severe malnutrition and growth failure in children.

For newborns with enteric anendocrinosis, their condition is worsened by eating. Treatment usually involves specialized formulas and intravenous nutrition to minimize the diarrheal symptoms and promote growth. Currently, there is no cure for the illness.

Amy Waddell Albin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Velcro for human cells
16.01.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht More efficient solar cells imitate photosynthesis
16.01.2019 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

Im Focus: Programming light on a chip

Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Velcro for human cells

16.01.2019 | Life Sciences

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids

16.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

The pace at which the world’s permafrost soils are warming

16.01.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>