05:45pm Thursday 17 August 2017

Mayo Clinic Discovers New Genetic Candidates for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Now a Mayo Clinic research team has identified a number of genetic variants in serotonin genes that impact irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. The findings are being presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2010 in New Orleans.

IBS is one of the most common chronic disorders of the digestive tract. It can cause years of discomfort or pain and altered bowel habits, limit a person’s personal and professional life, and cost millions nationally in medical costs and loss of time from work or school.

“It’s been known that some drugs that alter serotonin levels in the body also have an effect on motility, thus prompting IBS-like symptoms, but the genetic and molecular mechanism for IBS was unclear,” says Yuri Saito, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and presenter of the study. “A number of studies had looked at a few polymorphisms and a handful of genes.”

The Mayo team used high throughput technology to study nearly 400 tagged single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in over 20 serotonin-related genes.

Using a familiar analogy, Dr. Saito says, “Rather than sending out a few patrol cars to look for culprits by rounding up ‘the usual suspects,’ we launched a genetic dragnet that took an objective, unbiased look at a broader range of possibilities.” They found a number of previously unknown IBS associations. The conclusion: Many more serotonin-related SNPs were implicated in IBS than first thought. The implicated genes relate to serotonin synthesis, metabolism and receptors. The researchers also found IBS may be caused by multiple genes — not just one or a few — and there may be distinct as well as overlapping molecular mechanisms that cause diarrhea and constipation, two major symptoms of IBS.

The findings offer future researchers specific targets for drug development or other therapies to combat IBS.

Other involved in the study were Joseph Larson; Elizabeth Atkinson; Euijung Ryu, Ph.D.; Ann Almazar-Elder; Nicholas Talley, M.D., Ph.D.; Michael Camilleri, M.D.; and Gloria Petersen, Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.


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