Certain Bacteria Within Gut Microbiome May Halt Inflammation Naturally, Study Says

Certain Bacteria Within Gut Microbiome May Halt Inflammation Naturally, Study Says
Bacteria naturally present in our gut may be central for reversing inflammation detected in gut inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). That finding was reported in the study “NLRP12 attenuates colon inflammation by maintaining colonic microbial diversity and promoting protective commensal bacterial growth,” which was published in the journal Nature Immunology. Researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center discovered that human patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, one of the most common types of IBD, carry significant lower levels of a protein called NLRP12. "At this point we have limited treatment options and no cure for people with inflammatory bowel disease," Justin E. Wilson, PhD, research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Genetics, said in a press release. Wilson also is the study's co-first author. "These diseases can be really difficult, impacting patients' quality of life and their finances. We suggest a possible simple fix for people who have a specific disease signature," he said. NLRP12 is known for its inhibitory role of inflammation. In the study, mice genetically engineered to lack NLRP12 showed increased levels of basal inflammation in the colon. In fact, this increase in inflammation resulted in an imbalance of the natural, beneficial community of microbes living in the gut – the microbiome. Loss of microbiome diversity reduced the protective role of a lot of these natural bacteria (such as bacteria belonging to the family Lachnospiraceae) and gave rise to an increase of more harmful ones (colitogenic, i.e., more prone to cause inflammation in the colon), particularly those from the Erysipelotrichaceae family. "What we found was that these mice not onl
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