Synopsys: Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. While there may be multiple mechanisms that lead to development of IBS, the bacteria in our gut appear to play an important role in a number of IBS patients. We discuss novel research by scientists at Queen’s University and McMaster university where they found that a proportion of IBS patients have a specific bacteria in their intestine that produces large amounts of histamine, a mediator that can increase pain signaling in the gut. In mice that were colonized with patient stool containing this high histamine producing bacteria there was markedly increased pain signaling. This increased pain may be occurring, at least in part, due to the bacterial histamine signaling to immune cells in the gut, that also release histamine as well as other pain mediators. Additionally, the study showed that production of bacterial histamine could be triggered by specific foods in our diet. Thus, identifying key pathways involved in this diet-microbiota-host interaction that causes abdominal pain may ultimately lead to development of more efficacious targeted therapy in a number of IBS patients.
Guests: Dr. David Reed (Queen’s University), Dr. Stephen Vanner (Queen’s University), Dr. Premysl Bercik (McMaster University), Dr. Giada De Palma (McMaster University)
Host: Dr. Charlie Hindmarch (Queen’s University)
Link to the article: https://www.science.org/doi/epdf/10.1126/scitranslmed.abj1895