Published in Cell (October 14, 2022), Dr. David Artis and colleagues have discovered that there are pain-sensing gut neurons which protect against inflammation.
These pain-sensing neurons protect against inflammation in the gut, apparently by secreting a molecule called substance P, as well as the associated tissue damage. The process involves regulating the microbial community that lives inside the intestines. It was also discovered that people who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) also have a diminished number of these pain-sensing nerves.
“These findings reshape our thinking about chronic inflammatory disease, and open up a whole new approach to therapeutic intervention,” said Dr. David Artis, the study’s senior author.
Dr. Artis is the Director of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Director of the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation and the Michael Kors Professor of Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Wen Zhang, a postdoctoral researcher in the Artis laboratory, served as first author on the study.
This research at Weill Cornell Medicine was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AI172027, AI151599, AI095466, AI095608, AR070116, DK126871, DK132244, F32AI124517), the LEO Foundation, CURE for IBD, the Jill Roberts Institute, the Sanders Family, the Rosanne H. Silbermann Family Foundation, and a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Research Fellowship Award.