Gene Mutation Weakens Virus-Fighting Protein in the Gut Causing Rare Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, in collaboration with national and international researchers, have identified a genetic mutation in a small number of children with a rare type of inflammatory bowel disease. The discovery of the mutation, which weakens the activity of a protein linked to how the immune system fights viruses in the gut, may help researchers pinpoint the cause of more common bowel diseases, investigators say.

Fungi That Live in the Gut Influence Health and Disease

Bacteria’s role in gut health has received a lot of attention in recent years. But new research publishing in Nature shows that fungi—another microorganism that lives within us—may be equally important in health and disease. Fungi thrive in the healthy gut, but when interactions with the immune system are off-balance, they cause intestinal damage that may contribute to gastrointestinal disease. Additional investigation demonstrate that vaccines could be developed as therapeutics to improve gut health.

Cleveland Clinic Researchers Discover Microbial Infection That Impairs Healing in Crohn’s Disease

A Cleveland Clinic-led team of researchers has discovered an infection that prevents healing in Crohn’s disease. According to study results published in Science, a type of yeast commonly found in cheese and processed meat is elevated in areas of unhealed wounds in Crohn’s disease patients, a discovery that may point to much-needed new treatment or prevention approaches for the common inflammatory bowel disease. The work was led by Thaddeus Stappenbeck, M.D., PhD., chair of Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Inflammation and Immunity.

Multi-Population Risk Scores Could Improve Risk Prediction for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Study Finds

New study illustrates how studying diverse populations can help predict patient outcomes and reduce health disparities

Genetic Risk for Fatal Blood Clots Identified in IBD Patients

Blood clots are the biggest cause of death in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) ─ ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In a retrospective study recently published in the journal Gastroenterology, Cedars-Sinai investigators found that a combination of rare and common genetic variants in some IBD patients significantly increased their risk of developing clot-causing thromboembolic diseases.

CHOP Genomic Study Reveals Role for Hypothalamus in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Using sophisticated 3D genomic mapping and integrating with public data resulting from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found significant genetic correlations between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and stress and depression. The researchers went on to implicate new genes involved in IBD risk that are enriched in both derived hypothalamic neurons, from a part of the brain that has a vital role in controlling stress and depression, and organoids derived from colon cells, a region more commonly studied in the context of IBD.

Delta Opioid Receptor Identified as Promising Therapeutic Target for Inflammatory Pain Relief

Delta opioid receptors have a built-in mechanism for pain relief and can be precisely targeted with drug-delivering nanoparticles—making them a promising target for treating chronic inflammatory pain with fewer side effects, according to a new study from an international team of researchers. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was conducted using cells from humans and mice with inflammatory bowel disease, which can cause chronic pain.

Case Western Reserve University researchers discover critical link to controlling inflammation in Crohn’s disease

Investigators at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine discovered that blocking interleukin-1α (IL1α), a protein that controls inflammation in the gut, markedly decreases the severity of intestinal inflammation in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease (CD).