Genetic Variant Associated with Crohn’s Disease Linked to Altered Gut Microbiome

Genetic Variant Associated with Crohn’s Disease Linked to Altered Gut Microbiome
A team led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that a genetic variation associated to blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol levels, and schizophrenia is also linked to Crohn’s disease. The study titled “A pleiotropic missense variant in SLC39A8 is associated with Crohn’s disease and human gut microbiome composition," published in the journal Gastroenterology, also reveals that the genetic variant is associated with alterations in gut microbiome. “We knew from previous studies that there is reduced diversity of the gut microbiome in patients with Crohn’s disease,” said co-senior and corresponding author Dr. Richard Duerr, a professor in Pitt’s School of Medicine, and co-director and scientific director of the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center in a news release. “But that left us with a question: Does Crohn’s disease alter the composition of the gut microbiota, or do pre-existing changes in the gut microbiota confer risk for Crohn’s disease?" Duerr said the study found a reduction in the abundance of hundreds of minor species of gut bacteria in healthy, overweight and Crohn’s disease-affected people who carry the genetic variant —  which suggests that the genetic variant may inc
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