Immune system pathway may be key to Crohn's disease treatment

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have published the results of a mouse-model study.

Using genetically-engineered mice with a Crohn’s-like condition, the researchers investigated the chronic inflammation that people genetically prone to Crohn’s disease often experience. The study looked at a type of protein called TWEAK and how it interacts with receptors called Fn14 on the surface of the intestine.

The Fn14 receptors were deleted in the mice.Those without receptors experienced less severe inflammation, while those with Fn14 receptors had chronic, ongoing inflammation, and scarring.

The researchers hope this can be investigated in a human model. It is suspected that if there is a way to block Fn14 using medication, it could make a huge difference in how Crohn’s disease impacts the human body.

The findings have been published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

A new study looks at the interaction between a specific protein and a type of receptor. Blocking this specific pathway may help treat Crohn’s.

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