Wednesday November 13, 2019

New lupus genes identified by Indian scientist

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New Delhi: 10 new lupus genes were identified by an international Indian-American team of scientists. These genes are associated with the autoimmune disease lupus-a debilitating condition where the body’s immune system becomes unbalanced and attack its own tissues.

Swapan Nath, a scientist at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation(OMRF), and his colleagues analysed more than 17,000 human DNA samples collected from the blood of volunteers across four countries- South Korea, China, Malaysia and Japan.

Nearly 4,500 samples had confirmed cases of lupus while the rest served as healthy controls for the research.

“We know lupus has a strong genetic basis but in order to better treat the disease, we have to identify those genes,” said Nath.

From that analysis, the researchers identified 10 distinct DNA sequence variants linked to lupus.

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. Its signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.

This disease has been affecting nearly five million people worldwide, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

“These findings mark a significant advance in our knowledge base for lupus genes,” said Judith James, director of OMRF’s Autoimmune Disease Institute.

“For every gene we identify, it brings us closer to uncovering the trigger for this puzzling disease. It’s good news for researchers and patients alike,” he added.

One gene known as GTF2I, showed a high likelihood of being involved in the development of lupus according to the study.

“Its genetic effect appears to be higher than previously known lupus genes discovered from Asians, and we surmise that it now may be the predominant gene involved in lupus,” Nath noted in a paper published in the journal Nature Genetics.

The understanding of the disease and development of intervention therapies for patients based on their genetic makeup was identified as the ultimate goal by Nath.(IANS)

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Impaired Liver Function During Pregnancy Leads To Obese Kids

Impaired liver function during pregnancy increases the risks of obesity in kids

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Pregnancy
Impaired liver function during pregnancy may increase the risk of obesity in children. PIxabay

Impaired liver function during pregnancy may alter gut bacteria composition and increase the risk of obesity in children, according to a new study.

In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired, particularly when they were fed a Western-style, high-fat diet.

“These findings further suggest that health during pregnancy can have long-term effects on children. In this case they suggest that gut microbiome alterations, may increase the risk of obesity in children, when fed a western style, high-fat diet, ” said study researcher Caroline Ovadia from King’s College London.

The most common liver disease in pregnancy, intrahepatic cholestasis (ICP), reduces the release of digestive fluid bile from the liver causing bile acids to build up in the blood, impairing liver function. This causes severe itching in the mother and increases risks of stillbirth and preterm birth for the baby.

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In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired. Pixabay

Previous studies suggest that children of women with ICP are more likely to develop childhood obesity.

For the findings, the research team investigated how gut microbiota are affected in the offspring of a mouse model of ICP.

The results reported that the offspring had a different gut microbiome composition and liver function, particularly when fed a high-fat diet, which could contribute to impaired metabolism and increase risk of obesity.

The results suggest that mice born to mothers with ICP, or other liver diseases, may benefit from maintaining a healthy diet and should avoid fatty foods.

These findings also suggest that targeting microbiome composition with treatment strategies in pregnant women, such as using pre-biotics or pro-biotics, could help prevent the risk of child obesity.

Also Read- Parents With Only Child More Likely To Tackle Obese Kids

“Understanding changes in composition of the gut microbiome and their effects may provide new ways of diagnosing patients at particular risk of obesity before it occurs. We could then develop personalised medicine and target appropriate treatments to alter gut bacteria accordingly,” Ovadia added.

The study was presented at The Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference in the UK. (IANS)