New hope for short bowel syndrome

Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have successfully made a small intestine that has the structural and molecular components of a healthy intestine.

Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a that occurs when the —where fluid and nutrients are absorbed from food into the body—is damaged, such as from genetic disorders or surgery, and has to be removed. As a result, the body does not get enough fluid and nutrients and becomes malnourished. Patients with SBS must receive nutrient supplements through an IV to stay healthy, which can disrupt their lives. With the number of cases of SBS on the rise in both children and adults, intestine transplantation offers a permanent solution but is limited because of a shortage of donors and it requires patients to rely on drugs to suppress their immune system and avoid organ rejection.

Tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) is a promising alternative to transplantation because it would not be limited by supply. Moreover, TESI can potentially be generated from a patient's own , avoiding the immune complications of transplantation. Led by Tracy C. Grikscheit, the research team had previously developed a process to create TESI by isolating from a portion of a donor's intestine and placing the cells onto biodegradable tubes. The cell-loaded tubes were then implanted into mice where the cells developed around the tube and formed a new intestine segment.

The researchers had observed that their engineered intestine segment had the general features of a small intestine, and in this new study, demonstrated that it also has the structural details and molecular parts to function like one. The intestinal cell types in the TESI were oriented correctly and possessed the proteins involved in breaking down food and absorbing water and nutrients. Similar to a natural intestine, the TESI also had the inner lining critical for maximizing fluid and nutrient absorption and the fluid-tight junctions between cells that prevent the intestine's contents from leaking out.


Explore further

Researchers grow functional tissue-engineered intestine from human cells

More information: "Human and mouse tissue-engineered small intestine both demonstrate digestive and absorptive function." American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology Published 15 April 2015 Vol. 308 no. 8, G664-G677 DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00111.2014
Journal information: American Journal of Physiology

Citation: New hope for short bowel syndrome (2015, May 4) retrieved 22 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-05-short-bowel-syndrome.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
5 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more