By using a mouse model of inflammation researchers at the University of Calgary have discovered a new class of molecules that can inhibit the recruitment of some white blood cells to sites of inflammation in the body. A provisional patent has been filed on these molecules by Innovates Calgary. When there is inflammation in the body, one of the primary defense mechanisms is the movement of white blood cells, known as neutrophils, from the bloodstream into the infected tissue. Neutrophils are specialized cells that kill microbes associated with infection. Although neutrophils are important, their excessive recruitment into tissues can result in damage and contribute to disease. Current anti-inflammatory drugs block all inflammation in the body. However, these newly discovered molecules target only neutrophils and may offer a more tailored course of treatment for some diseases, for example to help people suffering from inflammatory diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
"You are what you eat" is familiar enough, but how deep do the implications go? An interdisciplinary group of investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found an association between long-term dietary patterns and the bacteria of the human gut. In a study of 98 healthy volunteers, the gut bacteria separated into two distinct groups, called enterotypes, that were associated with long-term consumption of either a typical Western diet rich in meat and fat versus a more agrarian diet rich in plant material. A subsequent controlled-feeding study of 10 subjects showed that gut microbiome composition changed detectably within 24 hours of initiating a high fat/low fiber or low fat/high fiber diet, but that the enterotype identity of the microbe group remained stable during the 10-day study, emphasizing the short-term stability of the enterotypes.
Quanterix Corporation, a company enabling a new generation of molecular diagnostic tests based on its revolutionary Single Molecule Array (SiMoA™ ) technology, announced results of a pilot study to measure biomarkers of inflammation from patients with Crohn's disease. The precise measurement of low abundance cytokines, which was possible using Quanterix's high sensitivity digital ELISA, allowed significant changes to be detected in patients before and after initiation of therapy. The study was published online in the Journal of Immunological Methods. "Quanterix's digital ELISA enabled physiologically relevant concentrations of two important cytokines, TNF-alpha and IL-6, to be measured in plasma from all patient samples tested. Previous studies have not been able to quantify these biomarkers in all patients due to insufficient sensitivity, " explained David Duffy, Ph.
They make up less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the microbes that live in the colon, but the bacteria and archaea that sop up hydrogen in the gut are fundamental to colon health. In a new study, researchers take a first look at these "hydrogenotrophic" microbes, mapping where they live and how abundant they are in different parts of the lower intestine. The findings are reported in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal. This is the first study to sample these - or any other - microbes at specific locales in the colon, said University of Illinois animal sciences and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Rex Gaskins, who led the research with Carle Foundation gastroenterologist Dr. Eugene Greenberg. These organisms are particularly difficult to get at because they inhabit a thick layer of protective mucous that lines the colon.
The Westie Foundation of America (WFA) has announced preliminary findings in two major studies involving the health of West Highland White Terriers also known as Westies. Findings in these and other studies of Westies and other dogs may hold answers for similar human conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The studies are jointly funded by the WFA and the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF). In one study, researchers are looking at the role of a mucosal gene driving inflammation Canine IBD, a chronic intestinal disorder that creates a bacterial-driven inflammation in the intestines. In the second, scientists are researching Legg-Calve Perthes Disease (LCPD), a debilitating developmental disease that causes pain, lameness and muscle atrophy of the dogs' hip joints. Both are considering implications for humans since the diseases share commonalities in disease symptoms and pathology.