Nerve Receptor Found to Be Key to Intestinal Inflammation

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that a specific nerve cell receptor appears to be necessary to initiate the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), findings they believe could change how physicians treat this disorder.

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The results of their studies, which were carried out in rats, could point toward a potential therapy aimed at blocking the receptor, known as vanilloid receptor type 1 (VR-1). Interestingly, they said, VR-1 is the receptor on sensory neurons that receives and transmits the "heat" and "pain" impulses felt when eating raw chili peppers.

The results of the Duke study were reported today (May 1, 2003) in the May 2003 issue of the journal Gut.

IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)

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