Byproduct of Cholesterol Metabolism May Activate Gut Immune Cells to Cause IBD, Study Says

Byproduct of Cholesterol Metabolism May Activate Gut Immune Cells to Cause IBD, Study Says
A cholesterol metabolite — a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism — triggers an abnormal immune response in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) further aggravating such diseases,  researchers found in a mouse study. Their study, “Oxysterol Sensing through the Receptor GPR183 Promotes the Lymphoid-Tissue-Inducing Function of Innate Lymphoid Cells and Colonic Inflammation,” appeared in the journal Immunity. IBD is a chronic inflammatory disease, including conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Possible causes include genetic and environmental factors, such as smoking, or using antibiotics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Stress and depression also raise the risk of IBD. Irregularities in the immune system is also consider a possible cause of IBD. Abnormal response to normal gut constituents — an autoimmune response — leads to an imbalance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (molecules produced by immune cells), causing tissue damage. Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a type of immune cell essential in intestinal barrier surfaces. These cells regulate antimicrobial response, tissue remodeling, and inflammation. ILCs can be part of the autoimmune response in IBD and cause chronic inflammation. Though recent research greatly advanced knowledge of ILCs and their subgroups, data on the mechanisms controlling the formation of the lymphoid tissue in the large intestine, where these cells reside, are still lacking. Using genetically engineered mice, scientists at
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