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gut stem cells haywire

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A diet too rich in fats and sugars sends them into a tailspin stamina cells intestine and this affects the risk of developing obesity, diabetes and also tumor. This is what emerges from a research coordinated by the Helmholtz Diabetes Center in Munich published in the pages of Nature Metabolism.

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“The intestine – explain the researchers – acts as a central regulator of energy and glucose homeostasis and responds rapidly to dietary and nutritional changes”. At the base of its action there are several families of specialized cells that line the internal surface of the intestinal walls and which are constantly generated by stem cells.

The researchers reconstructed in an animal model what happens to these cells when animals feed on one for long periods hypercaloric diet. “The first thing we noticed is that the small intestine increases significantly in size,” says study coordinator Anika B. “ttcher. By analyzing in detail the behavior of stem cells, “we found that intestinal stem cells divide and differentiate much faster in mice that follow an unhealthy diet,” says B “ttcher. This excessive activity could be the main mechanism behind the development of intestinal tumors.

Furthermore, research has shown that the abnormal behavior of stem cells produces an imbalance between intestinal cell populations – leading, for example, to a reduction of cells that produce serotonin – and a greater efficiency of cells that absorb fat. For the researchers, the study could open the door to the development of drug therapies that allow obtaining results similar to those currently associated with bariatric surgery.

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