• A Mouse Model for Studying Pancreatic Tumor Resection and Adjuvant Therapy

A Mouse Model for Studying Pancreatic Tumor Resection and Adjuvant Therapy

Researchers have developed mice that develop focal, resectable pancreatic tumors closely resembling human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) that can be used to test adjuvant therapies, according to new research in the August issue of Gastroenterology. The authors show that administration of gemcitabine after resection of the tumors activates natural killer (NK) cell-mediated

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  • Can Microbial Dysbiosis Cause Colonic Inflammation?

Can Microbial Dysbiosis Cause Colonic Inflammation?

Dysbiosis contributes to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) by altering colonic expression of genes that regulate inflammation and the immune response, researchers report in the July issue of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. An altered intestinal microbiota composition has been associated with IBD. However, it is not

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Hepatic Gene Therapy Technique Developed

Researchers have developed a technique for selective expansion of genetically modified hepatocytes, resulting in expression of high levels of transgenes in livers of mice. Sean Nygaard et al (Oregon Health and Science University) describe their system for in vivo selection and expansion of genetically modified hepatocytes in the June 8

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  • How Could Variants in TM6SF2 Affect Risk for NAFLD?

How Could Variants in TM6SF2 Affect Risk for NAFLD?

The human transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) protein regulates cholesterol metabolism in mice, researchers report in the May issue of Gastroenterology. These findings provide insight into the how a variant of TM6SF2 (encoding the amino acid change E167K) reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) levels in humans, and

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  • Genetic Variants Associated with IBD Alter Immune Regulatory Signals from Beneficial Microbes

Genetic Variants Associated with IBD Alter Immune Regulatory Signals from Beneficial Microbes

Polymorphisms in susceptibility genes appear to promote development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) by altering the abilities of immune cells to sense protective signals from the microbiome, researchers report. These findings help fill the missing link between genetic risk variants for IBD and dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiome. More than

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  • A Non-Antibiotic Against Clostridium difficile Infection

A Non-Antibiotic Against Clostridium difficile Infection

A non-antibiotic drug reduces the effects Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) by disabling the bacteria’s toxins, a study showed in mice. The orally administered agent, ebselen, has been in clinical trials for an unrelated condition and could offer a new approach for combating multidrug-resistant CDI. C difficile infection causes life-threatening diarrhea and

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  • VEGF Signaling Prevents Senescence in Colorectal Tumors

VEGF Signaling Prevents Senescence in Colorectal Tumors

Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2) signaling prevents senescence of colorectal cancer cells by inactivating p21, researchers report in the July issue of Gastroenterology. Inactivation of this pathway correlates with survival of patients treated with anti-VEGF cancer drug bevacizumab. VEGF, a growth factor that has been well studied for its

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  • Author Q and A Series: Alcohol, the Microbiota, and Liver Disease

Author Q and A Series: Alcohol, the Microbiota, and Liver Disease

Chronic alcohol consumption disrupts the intestinal microbiota to reduce production of saturated long-chain fatty acids and subsequently the proportion and functions of hepatoprotective lactobacilli, Peng Chen et al report in the January issue of Gastroenterology. Dietary approaches to restore levels of saturated fatty acids in the intestine might therefore reduce ethanol-induced liver injury in patients with

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  • Real-Time Views of Gastrointestinal Motility

Real-Time Views of Gastrointestinal Motility

Bioengineers have found a way to visualize the action of the gastrointestinal tract in real-time, developing a non-invasive means to observe the wave-like muscle contractions that occur during peristalsis. According to the NIH Director’s blog, new technologies are needed to aid in diagnosis and treatment of the wide range of

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  • How Does Vitamin D Lower Cholesterol?

How Does Vitamin D Lower Cholesterol?

Researchers have identified a mechanism by which vitamin D reduces levels of cholesterol. In a mouse study published in the April issue of Gastroenterology, Edwin Chow et al. show that activation of the vitamin D receptor increases cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1)—an enzyme that metabolizes cholesterol—by downregulating its repressor, SHP. Studies have

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