Gut Protein Found to Influence Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Repair rate of intestinal lining dependent on interactions within the gut.

Repair rate of intestinal lining dependent on interactions within the gut.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) development may be influenced by a protein in the gut that leads to inflammation, according to researchers in the UK.

Published recently in the American Journal of Physiology, the study notes that the repair rate in the lining of the intestine depends on interactions among bacteria inside the gut.

"Potential reasons why IBD is on the increase in developed countries include changes in the microbes residing in the intestinal gut,” researcher Rachael Rigby, MD, said in a press release.

These microbes influence repair of the intestinal lining because it provides a first line of defense against infectious agents within the contents of the gut, the researchers wrote. The intestinal tract is lined with a layer of epithelial cells that can become inflamed and ultimately destroyed by the disease.

The researchers sought to evaluate the role of the SOCS3 protein in the intestine, which is increased from IBD.

The SOCS3 protein was found to limit intestinal inflammation, however, the study revealed that increases of the protein in IBD cases had a derogatory impact on the repair of epithelial lining.

"Our latest study shows that SOCS3 limits microbial-induced epithelial wound healing,” Dr. Rigby added. "These results provide further evidence to support the regulatory role of epithelial SOCS3 in intestinal health and suggest that the increased expression of SOCS3 observed in IBD may serve to perpetuate inflammation."