“The first thing we noticed was that the small intestine increases greatly in size on the high-calorie diet,” says research chief Anika Böttcher. “Together with Fabian Theis’ team of computational biologists at Helmholtz Munich, we then profiled 27,000 intestinal cells from control diet and high fat/high sugar diet-fed mice. Using new machine learning techniques, we thus found that intestinal stem cells divide and differentiate significantly faster in the mice on an unhealthy diet.”
The researchers hypothesize that this is because of an upregulation of the related signaling pathways, which is related to an acceleration of tumor development in lots of cancers. “This could be an important link: Diet influences metabolic signaling, which leads to excessive growth of intestinal stem cells and ultimately to an increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer,” says Böttcher.
With the assistance of this high-resolution approach, the researchers have additionally been in a position to research uncommon cell varieties within the gut, for instance, hormone-secreting cells. Among their findings, they had been in a position to present that an unhealthy weight loss program results in a discount in serotonin-producing cells within the gut. This can lead to intestinal inertia (typical of diabetes mellitus) or elevated urge for food. Furthermore, the research confirmed that the absorbing cells adapt to the high-fat weight loss program, and their performance will increase, thus instantly selling weight acquire.
Important primary analysis for non-invasive therapies
These and different findings from the research result in a brand new understanding of illness mechanisms related to a high-calorie weight loss program. “What we have found out is of crucial importance for developing alternative non-invasive therapies,” says research chief Heiko Lickert, in summarizing the outcomes. To date, there isn’t a pharmacological strategy to stop, cease or reverse weight problems and diabetes. Only bariatric surgical procedure causes everlasting weight reduction and may even result in remission of diabetes.
However, these surgical procedures are invasive, non-reversible and expensive to the healthcare system. Novel non-invasive therapies might occur, for instance, on the hormonal stage by means of focused regulation of serotonin ranges. The analysis group will study this and different approaches in subsequent research.