News from IMIM-Hospital del Mar
Researchers at Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) in Barcelona, in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and other U.S. Institutions, have found that intestinal mucus not only acts as a physical barrier against commensal bacteria and dietary antigens, but also prevents the onset of inflammatory reactions against these agents. This fundamental property of mucus was unknown until now and its discovery could potentially improve the life of people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
Mucus is a colloidal gel produced by glands present in our mucosal surfaces, including the intestine. "Our body produces on average a liter of mucus every day. Despite its abundance, mucus has been poorly studied and thus very little is known about its composition, synthesis and functional properties. Part of the problem may be that mucus is traditionally viewed as a symbol of disease and thus represents an antivalue" explains Dr. Andrea Cerutti, ICREA Research Professor, coordinator of the research group in B Cell Biology at IMIM, Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai and responsible for the study.
IMIM press release
"Mucus Enhances Gut Homeostasis and Oral Tolerance by Delivering Immunoregulatory Signals” Meimei Shan, Maurizio Gentile, John R. Yeiser, A. Cooper Walland, Victor U. Bornstein, Kang Chen, Bing He, Linda Cassis, Anna Bigas, Montserrat Cols , Laura Comerma, Bihui Huang, J. Magarian Blander, Huabao Xiong, Lloyd Mayer, Cecilia Berin, Leonard H. Augenlicht, Anna Velcich, Andrea Cerutti. Science.