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Archive - Oct 27, 2015

Calcium Phosphate Particles in Stomach Are Highly Porous; Capable of Trapping & Transporting Antigens to Instestinal Immune Cells; May Be Involved in Diseases Like Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis

There are numerous studies related to the absorption of nutrients from the stomach because understanding what happens in our digestive system is crucial, for example, in order to be able to avoid in the future some of the diseases that affect part of the population to a lesser or greater extent. In the UK, a group of researchers from the Medical Research Council, led by Professor Dr. Jonathan J. Powell, have been working along these lines for years. They have led various studies of this type, the latest of which is a study in which 16 institutions from various countries participated, including the University of Cadiz in Spain. As a result of this international study, an article entitled “An Endogenous Nanomineral Chaperones Luminal Antigen and Peptidoglycan to Intestinal Immune Cells” has been published in the April 2015 issue of Nature Nanotechnology. In this article, the formation of calcium phosphate in the stomach, its function, and its direct relationship with the immune system are analyzed from an innovative perspective. In fact, the origin of digestive diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease is possibly explained, opening up a new line of research, unknown until now, and which, in the long term, could result in the development of drugs that may alleviate the dire effects of these diseases. In order to better understand the important role of Spain’s Dr. Juan Carlos Hernández-Garrido (photo) in this study, it is important to know that the University of Cadiz is an international reference point in electronic microscopy and there are very few experts in the tri-dimensional characterization of materials using electronic microscopy, an area in which Dr. Hernández-Garrido is a specialist. In addition, it should be noted that Dr.

Study Led by NICHD Section Chief Suggests Drugs That Activate the NF-α1/FGF2/Neurogenesis Pathway Can Offer New Approach to Depression Therapy

In an article published in the June 2015 issue of Molecular Psychiatry, a scientific team led by senior author Y.Peng Loh, Ph.D., Chief of the Section on Cellular Neurobiology, National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), NIH, reported that neurotrophic factor-α1 [NF-α1, which is also known as carbozxypeptidase E (CPE)] can prevent stress-induced depression through enhancement of neurogenesis and that NF-α1 is activated by rosiglitazone, a drug known to have anti-depressive activity. Major depressive disorder is one of the most common psychiatric illnesses in the United States, and its development is linked to the experience of stressful conditions. Short­term stress, however, is unlikely to be harmful, but prolonged stress may contribute to depression by triggering the release of chemicals that, at sustained, high levels, can kill nerve cells. Recent research indicates that neurotrophic factors and growth factors—naturally occurring substances that promote cell growth—play a role in relieving depression. Scientists suspect they do so by stimulating the generation of new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis. To explore this possibility, Dr. Loh and her team subjected mice to short-term stress and found increased levels of NF-α1, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), and neurogenesis in the hippocampus, a brain region minvolved in depression. These mice displayed no signs of depression-like behaviors. However, after long-term restraint stress, levels of NF-α1 and FGF2 fell and the mice displayed depression-like behaviors. In a separate set of experiments, mice genetically engineered to lack NF‐α1 had reduced FGF2 and reduced neurogenesis in the hippocampus and showed depression-like behavior. Giving the mice FGF2 reversed the depression.