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There are trillions of microorganisms residing in the gut of human beings and their job is to digest foods, provide nutrients, eliminate pollution and also interact with the human immune system. So, any imbalance in these microorganisms may cause several intestinal disorders like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, etc. Due to the unhealthy diet, stress, lack of exercises and frequent use of antibiotics led to an increased number of patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disorders like colitis, bowel cancer, etc.
Colitis is one of the most common chronic inflammations of the intestinal bowel. It is generally treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. However, the signaling pathway involved in the colitis is not yet fully understood. Therefore, new approaches should be carried out for the better treatment of colitis.
A team of researchers from the Max F. Perutz Laboratory of the University of the Vienna has found the role of interferon in the development of the inflammation of the intestine.
Interferon is a group of tissue hormones and is of three types; interferon-I, interferon-II, and interferon-III. All these types of interferon affect the colitis directly. Their result has been published in the journal of molecular and cellular biology (2015)
The team leader Thomas Decker said interferon-I has a minor role in the colitis and interferon-II supports the colitis while interferon-III protect the intestine from colitis. The co-author, Isabella Rauch said that they thought that interferon regulatory factor-9 (IRF9) is the one involved in the signaling pathway mediated by the type I and type III interferon to mediate the protection against colitis, but Rosebrock, another member of the team said that they found a new result. According to Rosebrock, IRF9 is involved in signaling pathways mediated by interferon-II, not the interferon-I and III.
They also showed that interferon II causes the release of CKCL10 to inflammatory cells leading to colitis. Their result will provide a new way to treat colitis like treating colitis by supplementing interferon II or treating colitis by the use of a specific antibody that can inhibit the function of CXCL10.