Washington, Jan 14 (ANI): Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston have discovered that the bacteria living in the intestines may play a far more significant role in weight loss and gastrointestinal problems than ever imagined.
They show that a deficiency of Toll-like receptor 2 (Tlr2)-used by mammals (including humans) to recognize resident microbes in the intestines-leads to changes in gut bacteria that resemble those of lean animals and humans.
This discovery builds on previous research demonstrating that a deficiency of TLR2 protects against obesity, while at the same time promoting gastrointestinal problems like excessive inflammation.
It also shows that genes controlling TLR2 expression play a very important role in one's gastrointestinal health and weight management.
The team studied normal mice and mice deficient in TLR2 using the large intestinal lining of these mice. They compared the TLR2-deficient ones to the normal group, as well as the bacteria, the epigenome and the gene expression of the animals.
The researchers found that the absence of TLR2 leads to microbial changes in the gut that resemble lean animals and humans, as well as immunologic changes similar to those observed in ulcerative colitis.
The study was published online in The FASEB Journal. (ANI)