Researchers at Severance Hospital have discovered RORα, a new gene that can inhibit the inflammatory mechanism in intestines.
|Professor Hwang Seong-soon|
The team, led by Professor Hwang Seong-soon at the hospital, removed the RORα gene from the intestinal epithelial cells of rats and induced an intestinal inflammatory response. As a result, rats with RORα gene deficiency not only had a more severe inflammatory response than normal mice but also have more serious pathological phenomena such as decreased intestinal length and perforation.
Professors Baek Sung-hee at Seoul National University Hospital and Park Dae-chan at Ajou University also participated in the study.
The researchers also found that the inhibition of inflammation by RORα plays a more critical role in decreasing the time of healing as RORα-deficient mice did not inhibit the inflammatory response at the time of wound recovery, which, in turn, led the wounds to become more severe.
"Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are difficult to treat and frequently occur in young people with active lives," Professor Hwang said. "The role of RORα in inhibiting inflammatory responses has not been precisely defined until now. However, the study demonstrates the importance of RORα as a new therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel disease."
The team published the study in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>