A substance that protects against bowel cancer was found: it is synthesized by bacteria

Scientists at the Sloan Kettering Institute (New York, USA) found a substance in the large intestine that protects against cancer. The role of the molecule-protector is organic acid isoDCA - it activates the formation of immune T-cells that suppress inflammation in the intestine. The source of isoDCA are symbionts - friendly microorganisms that inhabit the large intestine. 

Chronic inflammation is a key risk factor for colon cancer. Therefore, finding methods that can prevent or suppress inflammation in the intestine is one of the most relevant. Regulatory T-cells that suppress inflammation occur in both the thymus (thymus gland) and the large intestine, which is rich in lymph tissue. 

How do representatives of the intestinal microbiome affect the activity of T cells? 

Scientists have found that friendly bacteria process the bile that enters the intestines to digest fats. Bacterial decomposition of bile acids produces isoDCA acid which affects the expression of the genes that control the formation of regulatory T-cells in the lymphoid tissue of the intestine. 

In case of microbiome disorders in the intestines isoDCA synthesis decreases, which leads to a shortage of regulatory immune cells and the development of chronic inflammation. That is why the authors of the study believe that the development of products containing consortia of useful bacteria actively involved in the processing of bile can be considered as an important direction in the search for tools to prevent intestinal cancer. 

April 20, 2020, 9:13 a.m.

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