Intestinal bacteria may help with inflammation
A recent study has revealed that commensal bacteria found in the human intestine known to produce a neurotransmitter that may help in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease.
The study was conducted at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospita by a group of researchers.
"We identified, to our knowledge, the first bifidobacterial strain, Bifidobacterium dentium, that is capable of secreting large amounts of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This molecule is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central and enteric nervous systems," Karina Pokusaeva, a researcher on the study, said.
GABA is one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the human central nervous system and contributes to the regulation of pain and some pain relieving drugs at present by targeting GABA receptors on neural cells.
Pokusaeva and her colleagues in order to understand the role the human microbiome that might play an important role in pain and scanned the genomes of various potentially beneficial intestinal microorganisms, identified by the Human Microbiome Project, for evidence of a gene that would help them to create GABA.
"Lab analysis of metagenomic DNA sequencing data allowed us to demonstrate that microbial glutamate decarboxylase encoding gene is very abundant in intestinal microbiota as compared to other body sites," Pokusaeva said.'
One of the most potential producers of GABA was B. dentium that appears to secrete the compound to help it survive the acidic condition.
GABA may also prove effective in reducing inflammation in addition to its pain modulating properties.
Recent studies have found that immune cells called macrophages also possess GABA receptors and when they activated these receptors on the microphages, a significant decline in the production of compound responsible for were observed.
"Our lab was curious to explore if GABA produced by intestinal human isolate B. dentium could have an effect on GABA receptors present in immune cells," Pokusaeva said.
Along with Dr. Yamada and Dr. Lacorazza they found that when the cells were exposed to secretions from the bacteria, they shown enhanced expression of the GABAA receptor in the immune cells.
Though the findings are preliminary at present, they suggest the possibility that B. dentium and the compounds it secretes could potentially play an important role in reducing inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel diseases.
-With inputs from ANI
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