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Immune system promotes digestive health by fostering community of ‘good’ bacteria

As many as 1.4 million Americans suffer from uncomfortable abdominal cramping and diarrhea that come with and Crohn’s disease. These conditions, collectively known as (IBD), are associated with an imbalance among the thousands of species of “good” bacteria that inhabit the gut. A study published in Cell Host and Microbe demonstrates that mice deficient for a component of the , a protein called MyD88, have an imbalanced gut bacterial community – with some species dominating over others – and are more susceptible to contracting a severe IBD-like illness. Further, fecal transplants from healthy donors alleviate IBD symptoms in these mice.

Immune system
Immune system
Credit: University of Utah


Source

MyD88 Signaling in T Cells Directs IgA-Mediated Control of the Microbiota to Promote Health. , , W. Zac Stephens, Ray Soto, Erin Bake, Ryan M. O’Connell and June L. Round. Cell Host and Microbe, Jan. 22, 2015

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation, Sidney Kimmel Foundation, Pew Scholars Program, and Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering

University of Utah Health Sciences