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Using bulk transcriptomics, proteomics, and single-cell RNA sequencing, scientists reveal early and strong activation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 pro-inflammatory immunity in the Syrian hamster model in a new collaborative study. The authors show migratory immune cells, including pathogen engulfing macrophages, dominate transcriptional responses in the lung to SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters and COVID-19 patients. The authors identify cell type-specific effector functions, providing detailed insights into pathological mechanisms of COVID-19 and informing therapeutic approaches. They note that the Syrian hamsters offers an important model for COVID-19 research, particularly in early stages of infection. The authors establish that COVID-19 activates the lung endothelium that actively drives inflammation and could potentially be targeted as a successful therapeutic strategy.
Findings from a new clinical trial paints a nuanced picture of the influence of diet on gut microbes and immune status. The scientists compared two microbiota-targeted dietary interventions, plant-based fiber and fermented foods, and showed that fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha increase gut microbial diversity and decrease systemic markers of inflammation, in contrast to a high-fiber diet rich in legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits that maintains a stable microbial diversity and immune profile. The authors noted that fermented foods may be valuable in countering the decreased microbiome diversity and increased inflammation pervasive in industrialized urban society.
An unexpected finding from a study on cognitively normal older adults shows people with elevated levels of the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-12 in the blood and amyloid plaques in their brains show markedly less cognitive decline and better cognitive trajectories than individuals with amyloid plaques but lower levels of IL12. Likewise, the study shows, elevated levels of interferon gamma, another proinflammatory cytokine, are associated with reduced cognitive decline independent of the presence of amyloid plaques. These counterintuitive findings may eventually result in diagnostic tests in healthy older adults that could predict their cognitive trajectories in later years
A study on 133 White, male patients with advanced stage head and neck cancer undergoing chemoradiation therapy, shows alterations in epigenetic DNA methylation of over 513 CpG sites are associated with greater inflammation and fatigue and play an important role in influencing patients' health.
Quick and effective healing of constant injuries that damage the inner lining of the intestines as food passes through it, is essential in maintaining a healthy gut. A new study reveals the presence of a fungus commonly found in foods like meat and cheese, preferentially localizes to injured and inflamed regions in the gut in patients with Crohn’s disease, preventing wound healing. This suggests oral antifungal drugs and dietary changes are potential new therapeutic approaches in curbing the painful symptoms of Crohn’s disease.