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New treatments may help fight food allergies and inflammatory diseases in the future

New treatments may help fight food allergies and inflammatory diseases in the future
New treatments may help fight food allergies and inflammatory diseases in the future


Many people with food allergies experience mild symptoms when exposed to triggering foods, but some may face fatal consequences.Butyrate is produced by a healthy microbiome. A bacterial compound called bacterium has shown promise against allergic reactions in laboratory tests, but is nasty to take orally. and reported that their “polymeric micelles” were effective against peanut allergy in mice. You may be able to fight it.

The researchers plan to present their results at the Fall Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS Fall 2022 is a hybrid of virtual and in-person meetings August 21-25, with on-demand access available August 26-September. 9. The conference will feature approximately 11,000 presentations on a wide range of scientific topics.

Some bacteria in the gut microbiome produce metabolites such as butyrate that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and maintain the intestinal lining. If a person’s microbiome is unhealthy and lacks these butyrate-producing bacteria, partially digested food fragments can leak out of the gut and trigger an immune response that triggers an allergic reaction.

One way to treat people with allergies is to provide the missing worms by oral or fecal transplants, but that works well in clinics, according to Dr. Jeffrey Hubbell, one of the project’s lead researchers. (PI). “So why not deliver a metabolite like butyrate produced by a healthy microbiome?”

But butyrate smells so bad, like dog poop or rancid butter, and it tastes so bad that you don’t want to swallow it. ”

Shijie Cao, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Shijie Cao, Ph.D. Presenting results at a team meeting at the University of Chicago.

And even though people can choke it, butyric acid is digested before it reaches its destination in the lower intestine.

To overcome these challenges, researchers, including co-principal investigators Dr. Cathryn Nagler and Dr. Ruyi Wang, designed a new delivery system. They polymerized butanoyloxyethyl methacrylamide -; with butyrate groups as side chains -; methacrylic acid or hydroxypropyl methacrylamide. The resulting polymer self-assembled into aggregates or polymeric micelles with butyric acid side chains pushed into the core, masking the compound’s odor and taste.

The researchers administered these micelles into the digestive system of mice lacking either healthy gut bacteria or a properly functioning gut lining. After digestive juices released butyrate in the lower intestine, the inactive polymer was removed with feces. By creating space, it restored the gut’s protective barrier and microbiome.

Most importantly, administration of micelles to allergic mice prevented life-threatening anaphylactic reactions when exposed to peanuts. antigen “So, in theory, modulating gut health could be broadly applied to any food allergy.”

Larger animal studies are next, followed by clinical trials. If these trials are successful and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves oral treatments, micelles could be marketed in small packets. Consumers tear open the packet and stir the contents into a glass of water or juice. In other studies on micelles, the team is analyzing data on treating inflammatory bowel disease with oral therapy.

The team is also investigating administration by injection. Researchers have shown that this method allows micelles and their butyrate cargo to accumulate in lymph nodes, which are part of the immune system. They found that this approach was effective in treating peanut allergy in mice, but could also potentially be used to suppress immune activation locally — rather than systemically. For example, injections may be useful for patients who have undergone organ transplants or who suffer from localized autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers acknowledge support and funding from startup ClostraBio and the University of Chicago.




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