Cell discovery could lead to IBD treatment

Cell discovery could lead to IBD treatment

Researchers have made a discovery that has the potential to lead to a new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Lead author Dr Graca Almeida-Porada and her team identified a special population of stem cells in cord blood that has the ability to move to the intestine and contribute to the cell population there.

"These cells are involved in the formation of blood vessels and may prove to be a tool for improving the vessel abnormalities found in IBD," Dr Almeida-Porada explained.

IBD causes diarrhoea and abdominal pain in patients as a result of intestinal swelling and inflammation, and ulcers. Inflammation is caused when blood vessels burst into the intestine.

To combat the condition, it is important to target inflammation, but current drugs are limited in their efficacy.

It is hoped that the new discovery will allow researchers to develop a more targeted therapy that will help blood vessels maintain their integrity, thus reducing inflammation.

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