Boston – A new study says exposure to a common weed killer may lead to inflammatory bowel disease. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital say the discovery could revolutionize the treatment of other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.
The research team identified the environmental factors that promote GI inflammation using the latest technology. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, is becoming increasingly common in industrialized nations.
While scientists have discovered about 200 genetic markers associated with the disease, it remains unclear what specific environmental factors influence a person’s risk and severity of IBD. The new study used various methods to systematically identify the chemical factors that contribute to GI inflammation.
Their findings, published in the journal temper natureselected Common herbicidesAnd the propizamideas a common chemical that increases inflammation in the small and large intestine.
Corresponding author Francisco Quintana, PhD, a researcher at the Brigham Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases, in a Media release.
Our methodology allowed us to identify a chemical that disrupts one of the body’s natural ‘brakes’ ignition. This method can identify novel candidate chemicals for epidemiological studies, as well as novel mechanisms that regulate autoimmune responses. In addition, this platform can also be used for the screening and design of therapeutic anti-inflammatory drugs.”
How does herbicide affect gut health?
The study authors combined IBD genetic databases with a large EPA database, ToxCast, which includes biochemical data on consumer, industrial and agricultural products. the team Specific chemicals It can modulate inflammatory pathways and then use the zebrafish IBD model to test the compounds and determine whether they are improving, worsening, or not affecting intestinal inflammation. Although zebrafish are not humans, they share many genetic characteristics, making them ideal for research.
The team then used a machine learning algorithm trained in analyzing the compounds to identify additional chemicals in the ToxCast database that likely promote inflammation. Among the top 20 candidates, 11 is used in agricultureThe study authors chose propizamide, which people commonly use on sports fields and for fruit and vegetable crops to kill weeds.
Using cell cultures, zebrafish, and mouse studies, researchers have shown that propizamide interferes with aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AHR). Professor Quintana first reported in 2008 that this transcription factor appears to have a link with immune regulation.
The new study identifies the specific mechanism by which a genetic biomarker acts Increased inflammation of the intestine. Now, the research team is working on engineering nanoparticles and probiotics that can target the inflammatory pathway they discovered.
Psoriasis drug may be key to new treatment
The FDA recently approved a topical psoriasis cream (Tabinarov), which works by activating the anti-inflammatory AHR pathway. This raises the possibility that a drug similar to abd This mechanism can be used.
Professor Quintana adds that activation of the AHR pathway may also be suitable for treating other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Both conditions are mediated by similar immune cells.
“The anti-inflammatory AHR pathway that we identified can be enhanced to improve disease, and in the future, we can also look for additional ways to deactivate the pro-inflammatory NF-BC/EBPβ response,” Quintana says.
“As we learn more about environmental factors that may contribute to disease, we can develop strategies at the state and national levels to reduce exposure. Some chemicals do not appear to be toxic when tested under basic conditions, but we do not yet know the effect of chronic low-level exposure on over decades, or at an early stage of development.”
Stephen Petsch, writer for Southwest News Service, contributed to this report.