Researchers find fecal marker could help diagnose early signs of chronic gut conditions

June 27, 2019

ATLANTA--Small molecules found in fecal matter could provide clues to the early inflammation found in chronic gut conditions, such as intestinal bowel disease (IBD), and serve as new biomarkers for diagnosis, according to a study led by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

The researchers found that fecal miRNA, small nucleic acid sequences, could be used as a tool to assess the healthiness of gut microbiota, the microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal tract, and provide early clues to intestinal inflammation in mice.

Studies have shown that some microbiotas can play a role in the development of intestinal inflammation. Since disruption of the symbiosis between the microbiota and the intestine is associated with various inflammatory diseases, such as IBD and metabolic syndrome, it is essential to identify new biomarkers of microbiota healthiness. The findings, published in the journal Theranostics, are some of the first to show connections between fecal miRNAs and gut microbiota. Earlier studies to find biomarkers for IBD or inflammation have mostly been done from tissue and blood.

"We found that miRNA from feces are indicative of inflammation level as well as microbiota function," said Dr. Emilie Viennois, first author of the study and assistant professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. "It can indeed indicate if the microbiota is more prone to induce inflammation or is more protective against inflammation, and it could also determine the ability of patients to respond to therapeutics."

The researchers used germ-free mice, or animals that have no microorganisms living in their bodies, and colonized them with various microbiotas. Mice with microbiotas that were associated with the development of intestinal inflammation had distinctly altered fecal miRNA profiles compared to mice that received a "healthy" microbiota.

Next, Viennois plans to study human feces samples, which are relatively easy to obtain because clinicians routinely collect feces specimens from patients to test for gastrointestinal conditions.

"Further study will need to be done in humans, but we think that fecal miRNA can also be a way to indicate the status of the microbiota in IBD patients," Viennois said. "We know that some microbiotas are more prone to induce inflammation than others, and using miRNA as a tool to determine that would be extremely useful."
-end-
The study is funded by a Career Development Award from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Co-authors of the study include Dr. Benoit Chassaing of the Neuroscience Institute and the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State; and Drs. Anika Tahsin, Adani Pujada, Lixin Wang, Andrew T. Gewirtz and Didier Merlin of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State.

To read the study, visit http://www.thno.org/v09p4542.htm.

Georgia State University

Related Inflammation Articles from Brightsurf:

3D printed stents that treat inflammation
POSTECH Professor Dong-Woo Cho's research team develops bioink-loaded esophageal stents for treating radiation esophagitis.

New cause of inflammation in people with HIV identified
A new study led by researchers at Boston Medical Center examined what factors could be contributing to this inflammation, and they identified the inability to control HIV RNA production from existing HIV DNA as a potential key driver of inflammation.

Maltreatment tied to higher inflammation in girls
New research by a University of Georgia scientist reveals that girls who are maltreated show higher levels of inflammation at an early age than boys who are maltreated or children who have not experienced abuse.

A protein that controls inflammation
A study by the research team of Prof. Geert van Loo (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research) has unraveled a critical molecular mechanism behind autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis.

Inflammation in the brain linked to several forms of dementia
Inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

Social isolation could cause physical inflammation
Social isolation could be associated with increased inflammation in the body new research from the University of Surrey and Brunel University London has found.

Hydrogels control inflammation to help healing
Researchers test a sampling of synthetic, biocompatible hydrogels to see how tuning them influences the body's inflammatory response.

Why beta-blockers cause skin inflammation
Beta-blockers are often used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

The 'inflammation' of opioid use
New research correlates inflammation in the brain and gut to negative emotional state during opioid withdrawal.

Using a common anticonvulsant to counteract inflammation
The interaction between a chromosomal protein called HMGB1 and a cellular receptor called RAGE is known to trigger inflammation.

Read More: Inflammation News and Inflammation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.