Blocking FN14 Protein May Prevent Intestinal Inflammation, Help Treat Crohn’s Disease, Study Says

Blocking FN14 Protein May Prevent Intestinal Inflammation, Help Treat Crohn’s Disease, Study Says
Inhibiting the inflammatory molecule Fn14 with new compounds or antibodies may reduce inflammation and tissue scarring in people with Crohn’s disease, a study suggests. The study, “TWEAK/Fn14 Is Overexpressed in Crohn's Disease and Mediates Experimental Ileitis by Regulating Critical Innate and Adaptive Immune Pathways,” was published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Crohn’s disease is a debilitating inflammatory disorder that affects the intestines and impairs their normal function. A family of proteins that are present in cells — called the tumor necrosis factors (TNFs) — are believed to be key regulators of intestinal inflammation. In particular, a protein called tumor necrosis factor–like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), and its receptor, known as fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14), are thought to be involved in the underlying mechanisms associated with Crohn's disease. Several studies have shown that activation of TWEAK/Fn14 signals can be beneficial during early tissue injury. However, constant activation during chronic inflammation can actually cause more damage, leading to fibrosis (tissue scarring). One of the tissue types most heavily influenced by TWEAK/Fn14 during chronic inflammation is that of the intestines. Continued stimulation
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