Barbara Ulmasov, Ph.D., Associate Research Professor of Gastroenterology, recently published a paper in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology reporting her findings on a possible new treatment for pancreatic fibrosis. The study was done in a mouse model of the disease.
Fibrosis, or scarring, of the pancreas occurs during chronic pancreatitis, a progressive disease causing chronic pain, malnutrition, and diarrhea. Their research found that cytokine transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) activated cells in the pancreas that regulate the development of pancreatitis. The researchers created a mouse model of pancreatic fibrosis and then treated the mice with an integrin inhibitor, which blocks the action of TGFB. The mice treated with the integrin inhibitor showed less scarring and halted the progress of the fibrosis. These studies showed that a treatment for a prevalent disease may be available, not only halting the fibrosis, but perhaps allowing healing of the pancreas cells as well.
For more information, read the full article in Newslink.