Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, are developing a drug treatment to reverse fibrosis in Crohn’s disease patients. Their research, which details how a hormone receptor mutation prevented fibrotic disease during tests on mice, was recently published in Science Immunology.
Here's what you need to know:
1. In their study, the researchers found a mutation that switched off a particular immune response hormone receptor. This mutation prevented mice from developing fibrosis, even after they were infected with a type of salmonella that mimics Crohn's disease symptoms.
2. With this finding, the researchers believe they have identified the inflammatory cells that drive fibrosis.
3. Moving forward, the researchers will test drugs that may be able to block the hormone receptor. They will investigate whether these drugs can halt or reverse fibrosis in mice.
4. This research has implications for other fibrotic diseases, including liver cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease and scarring from heart attacks.