- MAP - description and background on the MAP bacterium
- Detection of Map in Crohn's Disease - intro of detection techniques
- MAP Culture - different methods of culturing MAP and results of studies related to Crohn's
- Detection of Insertion Sequence IS900 - methods of detecting the IS900 gene sequence (which is unique to MAP)
- Serologic Studies of MAP - looking for antibodies in the blood of Crohn's patients
- MAP and Genetic Susceptibility to Crohn's Disease - interaction between genetic susceptibility (via the NOD2/CARD15 Crohn's gene mutations) and MAP (e.g. overgrowth, etc.)
- Anti-Mycobacterial Antibiotics for Crohn's Disease - review of studies that tried (unsuccessfully) to cause long-term remission of Crohn's through use of antibiotics. MAP is very resilient and the interaction between antibiotics and immunosuppressive agents (which may also impact MAP function) leave room for doubt in the studies.
- Epidemiologic Evidence for MAP as a Cause of CD - lots of epidemiologic evidence for why MAP is likely not the cause of Crohn's, but some support of it being a cause.
- Conclusion (full excerpt below)
Thursday, December 31, 2009
The group focused on the bacterium Bacteroides ovatus (B. ovatus), which is one of an assortment of intestinal microflora in humans. B. ovatus thrives in the oxygen-free environment of the large intestine, where it breaks down xylan—a fiber found in plants—and other sugars for energy and growth.
The team created a strain of B. ovatus that used xylan to induce secretion of human keratinocyte growth factor, a protein that helps repair and restore the intestine’s delicate lining. This increased the ability of the intestine to repair IBD-inflicted damage.
The researchers found that IBD-affected mice treated with oral doses of xylan and the engineered strain of B. ovatus had intestinal tissues that healed more rapidly. This group of mice also lost less weight and had lower levels of rectal bleeding. In addition, dosing mice with B. ovatus provided protection from induced IBD and limited the development of subsequent intestinal inflammation.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Crohn's Disease: Probiotics—live microorganisms that appear to improve gastrointestinal health—may prevent the onset of Crohn's disease, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers fed young mice, who had been bred to develop a Crohn's-like inflammatory bowel disease, diets that included a high dose of eight probiotic bacteria strains. The disease, ileitis, was entirely prevented in five of those 11 mice, and markedly less severe in five of the remaining six. A lower dose of the bacteria, given to another set of mice, provided little beneficial effect. The researchers suggested, based on necropsies of the mice, that the probiotics guarded against ileitis by stimulating the immune system of the gut lining.
Caveat: It's not known whether probiotics would prevent actual Crohn's disease in humans, or what dose would be required. (Read the Report)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Pfizer announced some news this week that could result in a stem cell treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's. On Monday, Pfizer struck a development and commercialization agreement with Athersys, Inc., a Cleveland biotech company. Pfizer plans to develop a therapy for IBD based on MultiStem, the Athersys adult stem cell product line.
MultiStem consists of a special class of human stem cells that have the ability to express a range of therapeutically relevant proteins and other factors, as well as form multiple cell types. Factors expressed by MultiStem have the potential to deliver a therapeutic benefit in several ways, such as the reduction of inflammation, protection of damaged or injured tissue, and the formation of new blood vessels in regions of ischemic injury. These cells exhibit a drug-like profile in that they act primarily through the production of factors that regulate the immune system, protect damaged or injured cells, promote tissue repair and healing and most or all of the cells are cleared from the body over time.
Though the cells have the potential to differentiate into a variety of cell types, in certain indications the primary mechanism of MultiStem appears to be the production of a physiologically relevant and complex set of therapeutic molecules in response to the local environment. In the initial indications Athersys is pursuing, the cells appear to minimize the inflammatory reaction that occurs in response to ischemic events (such as myocardial infarction or stroke) or the anti-host immune reaction seen in graft vs. host disease (GvHD), and promote healing and recovery. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, MultiStem cells are dynamically regulated, and have the potential to respond to signals of inflammation or tissue damage in multiple ways. Potential mechanisms of benefit include protection of damaged or injured cells, reduction of inflammation, stimulation of new blood vessels, and the recruitment of other cell types to promote tissue repair and healing.
But frankincense (Boswellia serrata) is less commonly known as a traditional remedy. What does frankincense treat? It's been a remedy for children, and studied as an anti-tumor agent against bladder cancer. In terms of rigorous assessments, a British Medical Journal review of the data looked at all research results and found particularly notable "trials related to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, osteoarthritis, and collagenous colitis. Results of all trials indicated that B. serrata extracts were clinically effective. Three studies were of good methodological quality. No serious safety issues were noted."