Sunday November 17, 2019

Research Says, People with Gut Bacteria Can Have a Greater Risk of Bowel Cancer

The study was presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in London, UK

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Gut Bacteria
Researchers were able to use Mendelian randomisation to understand the causal role that Gut Bacteria may have on the disease. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people with a certain type of Gut Bacteria may be at a greater risk of developing bowel cancer.

The gut microbiome is the collection of fungi, bacteria and viruses within our gut. There is an increasing evidence that the make-up of the microbiome plays a role in human health and the body’s susceptibility to disease.

“In the first study to use a technique called Mendelian randomisation to investigate the causal role played by bacteria in the development of bowel cancer, we found evidence that the presence of an unclassified type of bacteria from a bacterial group called Bacteroidales increased the risk of bowel cancer by between 2-15 per cent,” said study researcher Kaitlin Wade from the University of Bristol in UK.

This means that, on an average, people with this type of bacteria within their guts may have a slightly higher risk of bowel cancer as compared to those who don’t.

Researchers were able to use Mendelian randomisation to understand the causal role that these bacteria may have on the disease.

“With Mendelian randomisation, we use people’s natural, randomly inherited genetic variations, which alter levels of bacteria within the gut microbiome in a way that mimics a randomised trial, to see whether people with a different genetic makeup, and therefore different gut microbiome profiles, have a different risk of colorectal cancer,” explained Wade.

“In this way, we don’t have to edit anyone’s gut microbiome directly by giving antibiotics or probiotics in a randomised trial or waste time waiting to see whether people within the population get colorectal cancer,” Wade added.

For the study, the researchers used data from 3,890 people taking part in the Flemish Gut Flora Project, the German Food Chain Plus study and the PopGen study, and 120,328 people in the international Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium.

These genome-wide association studies (GWAS) searched for small variations in the genomes of participants that occur more frequently in people with a particular disease or characteristic than in people without that disease or characteristic.

Gut Bacteria
Researchers have found that people with a certain type of Gut Bacteria may be at a greater risk of developing bowel cancer. Pixabay

They also found that genetic variation in the population in particular parts of the genome were linked to the presence or varying amounts of 13 types of gut bacteria, and that people with an unclassified type of bacteria from the Bacteroidales group had a higher risk of bowel cancer compared to people who did not have these bacteria.

“We need to classify the exact species or strain of bacteria in the Bacteroidales group, and we need to do more work to understand how and why human genetic variation can alter the gut microbiome, Wade said.

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“Even if these results show that these bacteria may cause bowel cancer, we don’t know whether trying to alter them in an effort to reduce the risk of bowel cancer might have other, unforeseen effects on other aspects of health, ” she added.

The study was presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in London, UK. (IANS)

Next Story

Immune Cells Become Active and Repair Brain While Sleep: Study

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice

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Sleep
Study suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during Sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the Brain. Pixabay

Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we sleep.

Microglia serve as the brain’s first responders, patrolling the brain and spinal cord and springing into action to stamp out infections or gobble up debris from dead cell tissue.

“This research shows that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system off and on,” said study lead author Ania Majewska, Professor at University of Rochester in the US.

In previous studies, Majewska’s lab has shown how microglia interact with synapses, the juncture where the axons of one neuron connects and communicates with its neighbours.

The microglia help maintain the health and function of the synapses and prune connections between nerve cells when they are no longer necessary for brain function.

For the findings, researchers conducted the study on mice.

The current study points to the role of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that signals arousal and stress in the central nervous system.

This chemical is present in low levels in the brain while we sleep, but when production ramps up it arouses our nerve cells, causing us to wake up and become alert.

The study showed that norepinephrine also acts on a specific receptor, the beta2 adrenergic receptor, which is expressed at high levels in microglia.

When this chemical is present in the brain, the microglia slip into a sort of hibernation.

Sleep
Researchers have found that immune cells called microglia, which play an important role in reorganising the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage, are also primarily active while we Sleep and affects Brain. Pixabay

The study, which employed an advanced imaging technology that allows researchers to observe activity in the living brain, showed that when mice were exposed to high levels of norepinephrine, the microglia became inactive and were unable to respond to local injuries and pulled back from their role in rewiring brain networks.

“This work suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the brain,” said study first author Rianne Stowell.

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“Altogether, this research also shows that microglia are exquisitely sensitive to signals that modulate brain function and that microglial dynamics and functions are modulated by the behavioural state of the animal,” Stowell said.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. (IANS)