Blogs for March 2019

Lipopolysaccharide from gut microbiome localizes in human atherosclerotic plaques and promotes TLR4-mediated oxidative stress

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 09:05
TLR signaling pathway, Novus Biologicals

By Jamshed Arslan, Pharm. D., PhD.

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory condition in which plaques of fats and other substances slowly buildup on the inner walls of arteries to restrict blood flow. In atherosclerosis-associated ailments like obesity, hypertension and type II diabetes, intercellular tight junctions are impaired, leading to increased gut permeability. This means that products of intestinal microbiota like lipopolysaccharide from Gram-negative bacteria can seep into the blood stream.

A pro-atherogenic role of lipopolysaccharide has been suggested. For example,...

Toll-like receptors in the intestinal epithelial cells

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 10:30
Defensin alpha 5 expression in human small intestine, IHC

By Jamshed Arslan, Pharm. D., PhD.

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are microbe-sensing proteins that act as first responders to danger signals. TLRs help the intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) recognize commensal bacteria from the harmful/foreign ones. Polymorphisms and variants of TLRs have been linked with immune system’s attack on commensal bacteria, leading to inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancers. The endogenous pattern of TLR expression in IECs and the functional outcome of TLR signaling in vivo are not well defined due to various technical difficulties. Thanks to the researchers in institutes in California and...

Probiotics and exercise can slow Alzheimer’s progression by altering composition of gut bacteria

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 09:11
beta amyloid expression in human Alzheimer’s disease hippocampus, IHC

By Jamshed Arslan, Pharm. D., PhD.

Gut microbiome modulates various disorders even outside the gut. For example, the microbiome is linked to amyloid-β deposition and the consequent inflammation in Alzheimer’s dementia. Altering gut microbiome through probiotics and/or exercise has been hypothesized to improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A multi-continental collaboration of scientists tested this hypothesis on AD mice and found that probiotics and exercise can retard AD progression, at least partly by changing the microbiome.

Probiotics with exercise improve memory in AD mice

The researchers used Framelim, a product...

Microglia: pruning shears for homeostatic maintenance in the brain

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 08:58
Iba1 expression in mouse fore brain, IHC

By Jennifer Sokolowski, MD, PhD.

Microglia play a critical role in pruning neurons and synapses during homeostatic maintenance in the adult brain.1 A recent study by Ayata et al. (2018) identified regional differences in clearance and found a role for epigenetic control via polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) in adult rodents.2

How to evaluate microglial clearance?

Ayata et al. defined a cell clearance phenotype by labeling microglia with iba1 and CD68 and evaluating morphology, cell volume, and CD68+ lysosome content. They also...


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