A fatty acid that causes Crohn's disease?

A fatty acid that causes Crohn's disease?

Researchers at Inserm have just demonstrated that a defect in the production of a fatty acid, a constituent of proteins, was associated with Crohn's disease, a common and disabling inflammatory disease of the intestine.

How to explain the occurrence of Crohn's disease? According to two teams from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) of Nantes and Toulouse, a manufacturing defect of a fatty acid, a small piece of lipid, by the intestine would play a role in the appearance of this pathology, which is part of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This discovery is published in the scientific journal Gastroenterology.

A less waterproof intestine

Throughout the digestive tract extends a nervous network called enteric nervous system, which controls the proper functioning of digestion. It is composed of neurons and glial cells. The latter make fatty acids, small bricks that assemble to form essential proteins to the good state of the intestine. They allow the wall of the intestine to be well impervious to prevent bacteria or viruses from entering the body. However, according to Inserm researchers, patients with Crohn's disease have a manufacturing defect of an essential fatty acid released by the glial cells, which makes the intestinal barrier more permeable. This discovery is an interesting study for the development of new treatments: "These results contribute to both enhancing the role of glial cells in particular and the enteric nervous system in general in the pathophysiological processes of IBD and also to identify new targets of therapeutic interest "explain Camille Pochard and Sabrina Coquenlorge, the main authors of the study in a statement.

Diarrhea, acute pain and weight loss

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. It is manifested by seizures that last several weeks or months, during which the patient suffers from severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and significant weight loss. Crohn's disease is associated with a high risk of colorectal cancer. In France, this very debilitating disease affects nearly 100,000 people.


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