NEW YORK New research indicates that the activation of an inflammatory mediator in the human body may cause diarrhea in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers led by Terrence A. Barrett of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago have discovered that activation of NF-?B results in diarrhea in IBD. IBD, which affects approximately 1-in-500 people in the United States, describes a group of diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, with inflammation in the intestinal tract. Patients with IBD experience diverse symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and weight loss.
Until now, the response of NF-?B, a protein complex, has never been completely understood. The researchers discovered, however, following immune activation, blocking NF-?B expression in the cells lining the intestinal tract inhibited diarrhea and prevented protein changes in these cells, resulting in decreased leakiness between the cells. These findings suggested that immune cell-mediated activation of in IBD promotes the movement of fluid into the bowel lumen, resulting in diarrhea.
The results were presented in the Jan. 2010 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.