Scientists treat common gut disease with baby heart cells

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Scientists have found a fresh way to heal the gut in a mouse model of a disease similar to Crohn’s disease.

The disease is known as ileitis, which causes long-term inflammation and damage in the intestines.

The research, led by a team from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, involves using special cells from newborn babies’ hearts. The findings were published in the journal Advanced Therapeutics.

Heart Cells Healing the Gut

The heart cells used in the study are called neonatal mesenchymal stem cells. These cells were derived from heart tissue that is usually thrown away after surgery.

The researchers injected these cells directly into the inflamed intestines of mice. This method resulted in less inflammation and faster healing of wounds.

According to Arun Sharma, Ph.D., who led the study, the use of these heart-derived cells in treating intestinal disease is a first.

Dr. Sharma is a research leader at the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Lurie Children’s. He suggests that these results are promising and offer a new way to potentially treat chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.

The Road to Clinical Use

However, before these stem cells can be used to treat Crohn’s disease in patients, there are a few challenges to address.

In the current study, the stem cells were injected directly into the inflamed parts of the intestine, a procedure that needs surgery.

The next step is to find a safe way to inject these cells into the body without surgery, similar to drawing blood from a vein.

More studies involving animals are necessary before this new treatment can be tested on people in clinical trials.

Potential for Prevention and Beyond

Dr. Sharma expresses optimism about this treatment method. “Our goal is to use this cell type not just for treatment, but also as a preventive measure, before the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease develop,” he said.

The possibilities for this treatment approach could go beyond Crohn’s disease and could potentially be used for other inflammatory diseases.

This research brings new hope to those living with Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory diseases.

Although further studies are necessary, the findings show potential for a novel approach to manage and perhaps prevent these debilitating conditions.

If you care about gut health, please read studies that green tea could boost gut health and lower blood sugar, and this diet could boost your gut health and weight loss.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about major cause of fatty liver disease, leaky gut, and results showing why a glass of red wine is good for your gut.

The study was published in Advanced Therapeutics.

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