New Findings Reveal Positive Outcome For Gut Issues Later In Life

Jul 25, 2019

Helsinki University researchers have recently found out the reason why our intestinal epithelium’s capacity to regenerate declines over time.

What’s more, the same team has discovered that targeting a specific stem-cell inhibiting enzyme unlocks the rejuvenative properties of aged intestines.

The findings can potentially open up new treatment involving age-related gastrointestinal problems, minimize the after-affects of cancer treatment, promote recovery, and reduce the costs of healthcare, especially for the aged society.

Pekka Katajisto, Karolinka Institute and Helsinki University Associate Professor and principal investigator, says that the study focuses on the value of cellular interactions, where a cell alteration resulted in an aging factor secretion, one that could be targeted using modern medicine. Furthermore, Katajisto has mentioned that the findings could open up multiple intervention points that are more attractive than conventional treatment.

Reduced tissue renewal caused by aging is inherently difficult to dose. Researchers believe that targeting Notum, an inhibitor, can open up new avenues of therapeutic, regenerative therapies in the aged society. Aside from the possibility of targeting Notum, changes in diet can further reduce Notum, thereby facilitating faster tissue repair and renewal.

In the study, organoid culture methods revealed the fact that the reason why stem cells in the old intestine were not functioning was because of neighboring cells called Paneth cells.

Nalle Pentimikko, Helsinki University PhD candidate and lead author, mentioned that modern technology has allowed the team to examine and determine which cell types were responsible for the tissue decline.

In a normal intestinal epithelium, stem cell renewal is mostly done via Wnt-signaling pathway activity. With the process of aging, Paneth cells start secreting Notum, a Wnt-inhibitor, which de-activates Wnt-ligands within stem cells, reducing their regenerative abilities.

Pharmacologic inhibition of the said Notum promoted activity and recovery in old animals via stem cell rejuvenation. This was done after chemotherapeutic drug treatment was completed, with known side effects in the gut.  

To your health,

The Healing Miracle Team

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1 Comment

  1. Tilly Dunn

    Yes, there is hope for me with my gut. I have a genetic load for a poor gut epithelium and because of 3 Ceasarians and a kidney donation 23 years ago, I have been crippled with increased scar tissue causing blockages. I suspect that stem cell rejuvenation of my gut would greatly improve my health and reduce health care costs.


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