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Researchers explore nontoxic IBD treatment

A new study suggests an innovative way of tackling gastrointestinal conditions.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as well as other gastrointestinal problems, are characterized by impaired function in the intestinal epithelial barrier.

Damage of the epithelial barrier has links to disease, but it is still unclear what causes impairments in this necessary defense layer.

Nevertheless, research has shown that an enzyme called the myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) plays a key role in the regulation of the epithelial barrier. Scientists think it may also have something to do with gastrointestinal inflammation.

The team — which is made up of specialists from Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago in Illinois, and the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in Suzhou, China — has found that targeting the MLCK1 version of MLCK could help prevent and treat IBD and other gastrointestinal problems.

The researchers believe that these experimental findings are promising and that they could, in the future, lead the way to better strategies for both the treatment and prevention of IBD and other gastrointestinal problems.

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Posted on: April 4 2019

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