Washington: Researchers have found that "normal" bacteria plays vital for keeping intestinal lining intact and eating probiotics, which contains the good kind of bacteria, helps in avoiding inflammatory disorders that occur when the intestinal lining has been compromised.
Sridhar Mani, M.D., said that by adding probiotics in the form of IPA-producing bacteria to the intestine or by administering IPA directly, might be able to prevent or treat IBD and other inflammatory disorders that occur when the intestinal epithelium has been compromised.
He further added that such a strategy could also be tried for other health problems that may occur when the intestinal epithelium breaks down, including certain forms of liver disease, diabetes, asthma, allergies, obesity and heart disease.
The research involved the intestinal microbiome, which contains some 100 trillion bacteria. The role of these microorganisms in promoting or preventing disease has been a major emerging field of study. Einstein scientists found that absorption of a specific bacterial byproduct was crucial for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelium, the single-cell layer responsible for keeping intestinal bacteria and their toxins inside the gut and away from the rest of the body. Breaching of the intact intestinal epithelium was associated with a number of diseases.
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found in a series of mouse studies that a metabolite called indole 3-propionic acid (IPA), produced exclusively by so-called commensal bacteria, which aid in digestion, both strengthens the intestinal epithelium's barrier function and prevents its inflammation by activating PXR.
More specifically, PXR activation suppresses production of an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) while increasing levels of a protein that strengthens the junctions between adjacent intestinal epithelial cells.
The researchers are now developing novel probiotics aimed at restoring the intestinal epithelium's barrier function by encouraging IPA's interaction with PXR.
The study is published online in the journal Immunity.