Loss of NLRX1 Gene May Contribute to Bowel Disease Development, Study Shows

Loss of NLRX1 Gene May Contribute to Bowel Disease Development, Study Shows
A gene called NLRX1 plays a crucial role in inhibiting the abnormal immune system response to gastrointestinal inflammation that occurs in bowel disease, according to a study. Loss of the gene can mean inflammatory bowel disease problems, the researchers said. Increasing the gene's activity could be a way to fight IBD, they added. The study, “NLRX1 Regulates Effector and Metabolic Functions of CD4T Cells,” was published in The Journal of Immunology. Previous studies showed that loss of NLRX1 led to the production of inflammatory molecules and increased severity of bowel disease in mice. Researchers have now discovered that when immune system T-cells lack the gene, they tend to assume an inflammatory behavior and divide into more cells, further increasing the immune system’s abnormal response. "For decades, immunologists have applied reductionist approaches to studying the smallest details of the immune response without considering crucial systemwide interactions with nutrition and metabolism," Josep Bassaganya-Riera, the study’s senior author, said in a news release written by Becky Freemal. The study sheds light on novel mechanisms of immunoregulation in IBD, said Bassaganya-Riera, the CEO of BioTherapeutics, which develops nutritional and drug treatments to prevent and treat autoimmune and metabolic diseases. The research also validates computational modeling studies "that predicted the importance of NLRX1 in regulating gastrointestinal inflammation and its potential as a
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