Structures with specific tissue structures were created to re-create barriers and identify medication targets

Structures with specific tissue structures were created to re-create barriers and identify medicatio ...

Researchers at the Brigham and the Broad Institute have developed sophisticated, tissue-like structures in the laboratory to design barrier tissues, such as the intestines, to identify new therapeutic targets. In a new study, researchers discovered a tissue-modifying molecule that can target intestinal stem cells and signal them to create Paneth cells, a rare but significant cell type. This approach may be used to identify molecules that might target other intestinal cells.

According to Benjamin Mead, the author of the Broad Institute, this paper provides the first step in constructing our barrier tissues like the intestine by targeting and activating stem cellsin situand, causing new important cell types to develop. This could be used to treat a wide range of diseases by manipulating the cell composition of the intestine.

This technique has wide-ranging implications and can be applied to the cellular makeup of the intestine, including cells that can enhance barrier function, produce gut hormones, or that are essential in coordinating insulin levels as well as food digestion and absorption. This approach also enables a completely new approach to manipulate gut microbiota and thus offer insights into the treatment of a wide variety of ailments.

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