Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hyperglycemia drives intestinal barrier dysfunction and risk for enteric infection.

We all know of the many adverse events that diabetes and hypoglycemia can have on our body. A team at the University of Pennsylvania has recently shown a link between hyperglycemia and intestinal barrier function. The researchers were able to observe the break down in the intestinal barrier permeability. Obesity today has reached astronomical numbers affecting more than 2 billion people worldwide and causing over 3 million deaths a year. The dysfunctional effects on the intestinal barrier are currently not well understood. Research has pointed to the permeability leading to microbial ligands leaking through and causing an inflammatory response. This reduced permeability means a larger chance of infection in obese and diabetic individuals. The researchers looked into seeing if obesity was a requirement for the observed dysfunction. They observed that obesity is associated with, but not required for intestinal barrier dysfunction. The researchers used genetically altered mice knocking out various genes associated, looking at adipokine leptin a satiety controller. Leptin deficiency is related to both human and mouse obesity. They also observed that Hyperglycemia drives intestinal barrier disruption.  A reprogramming of intestinal epithelial cells was observed. This research area is still in its early stages but is crazy to think of just all the other effect that obesity can have on the body. There are so many here in just the lining of the stomach. Obesity is a disease that affects our whole body with outcomes of that can be detrimental. Obesity is a public health crisis that we will have to deal with better in the upcoming decades.

Zane Ruehrwein (3)


  1. It is crazy to think about the fact that this epidemic going on in our country is yet to be fully addressed, especially when it comes to the topic of your article. The idea that this effect of intestinal barrier is not well understood yet is pretty insane seeing as though obesity is effecting 2 billion people worldwide.

    Posted by Sarah Aboody (1)

  2. Does intestinal barrier disruption have to do with its permeability? Does it mean that the intestine leaks? From what I can understand, obesity leads to a reprogramming of epithelial cells which causes barrier disruption.

    Posted by Sarah Kamukala

    1. Hi Sarah, from what I gathered from the article the barrier disruption is an increase in its permeability so more things are able to leak out.

      Zane Ruehrwein (3)