The rate of intestinal lining repair during treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease is influenced by interactions with gut bacteria, according to a study in the American Journal of Physiology.
“Potential reasons why IBD is on the increase in developed countries include changes in the microbes residing in the intestinal gut,” researcher Rachael Rigby, PhD, said in a press release.
These microbes influence repair of the intestinal lining, which 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 IBD.
The researchers sought to evaluate the role of the SOCS3 protein in the intestine, which is increased in 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.”