Defective MDR1 Gene May Promote Ileal Crohn’s Disease, Study Suggests

Defective MDR1 Gene May Promote Ileal Crohn’s Disease, Study Suggests
Researchers have found that the MDR1 gene helps protect immune cells from the damaging effects of bile acids in the intestine, preventing a condition known as ileal Crohn's disease. The findings from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in Florida suggest that blocking the action of bile acids in patients with a defective MDR1 gene may help halt the progression of ileal Crohn's, the most common type of Crohn's disease. Crohn's is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, "The Xenobiotic Transporter Mdr1 Enforces T Cell Homeostasis in the Presence of Intestinal Bile Acids," was published in the journal Immunity. The T helper 17 (TH17) cells are a subset of immune cells that travel throughout the body to protect against infections. These cells, however, can also trigger chronic inflammation, especially in the intestine, promoting Crohn's disease. More insights into how Th17 cells adapt to each part in the body – for example, the environment in the lungs is different from that of the gut – would allow researchers to design better, more targeted therapies. "We need therapeutic strategies that specifically target chronic inflammation in the gut, skin or other tissues, instead of just generally suppressing the entire immune system," Mark Sundrud, PhD, lead author of the study, said in a press release. Sundrud’s team hypothesized that Th17 cells may lead to the activation of differe
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