Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic marker for painful food allergy points to improved diagnosis, treatment

12.03.2012
Researchers have identified a genetic signature for a severe, often painful food allergy – eosinophilic esophagitis – that could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment for children unable to eat a wide variety of foods.

The scientists, from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that they have pinpointed a dysregulated microRNA signature for eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a disease that also may cause weight loss, vomiting, heartburn and swallowing difficulties.

Interestingly, the dysregulated microRNA was reversible with steroid treatment, according to the study's senior investigator, Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD, director of Allergy and Immunology and the Center for Eosinophilic Disorders at Cincinnati Children's. MicroRNAs are short segments of RNA that can regulate whether genetic messengers (mRNAs) are degraded or translated into protein.

"The identification of biomarkers specific to EoE is a significant advancement for both the diagnosis and treatment of the disease," explains Rothenberg. "The microRNA signature provides an opportunity for more precise analysis of esophageal biopsies."

Rothenberg said children with EoE now undergo anesthesia and invasive endoscopy to diagnose and monitor the allergy. The ability to determine the presence and status of EoE with a noninvasive method, such as blood test that measures microRNAs, would have a positive impact on individuals and families.

In the current study, investigators analyzed esophageal microRNA expression of patients with active EoE, steroid-induced EoE remission, patients with chronic (non-eosinophilic) esophagitis and of healthy individuals. Additionally, they assessed plasma microRNA expression of patients with active EoE, remission of EoE remission and of healthy individuals.

The researchers found that EoE was associated with 32 differentially regulated microRNAs and distinguishable from the non-eosinophilic forms of esophagitis (such as reflux disease). Esophageal eosinophil levels correlated significantly with expression of the most increased microRNAs, miR-21 and miR-223, and most decreased, miR-375. MiR-223 was also one of the most increased microRNAs in the plasma, along with miR-146a and miR-146b.

Notably, the expression of microRNAs dysregulated in patients with active EoE was normalized in patients with EoE who responded to steroid treatment. This suggests a significantly specific microRNA signature for disease activity points to its promise for use as a biomarker for EoE.

Only recently recognized as a distinct condition, the incidence of EoE has been increasing over the past 20 years, as have other allergies. Rothenberg and his laboratory team pioneered research showing EoE's reported incidence is estimated to be at least one in 1,000 people. Its hallmark is swelling and inflammation in the esophagus, accompanied by high levels of immune cells called eosinophils.

EoE can affect people of any age, but is more common among young men who have a history of other allergic diseases, such as asthma and eczema. EoE is often first discovered in children with feeding difficulties and failure to thrive, but it is often misunderstood and not well known, delaying proper diagnosis and treatment.

Several organizations provided funding support for the study, which was released online March 3. These include the National Institutes of Health, the Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease (CURED), the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), and the Buckeye Foundation.

Jim Feuer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cchmc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
21.10.2019 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Autism spectrum disorder risk linked to insufficient placental steroid
21.10.2019 | Children's National Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A cavity leads to a strong interaction between light and matter

Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.

Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New deep-water coral discovered

22.10.2019 | Life Sciences

DNA-reeling bacteria yield new insight on how superbugs acquire drug-resistance

22.10.2019 | Life Sciences

Heat Pumps with Climate-Friendly Refrigerant Developed for Indoor Installation

22.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>