Okay, so keep in-mind that a little while back we told you that you were your microbes and how lots of them affect you in “No Man Is An Island”…
Fast-forward to 3 years ago when the 2 magic ingredients of curiously-healthy mice and immune cells called Th17s combined in the persons of Drs. Mathis and Littman.
Because Immunologists are the House-ian cool-kids of the science world, and much like freestyle-rap-battlers, they hang out and talk a lot of smack and hipster-twitters-myface-type stuff, Dr. Diane happened to attend a conference where Dr. Dan was throwing out some fancy-crazy couplets on the gut microbes he and his team had discovered related to this one immune-cell.
-And how a shipment of bad mice from a wonky supplier turned out to have more of this cell than the standard.
Dan’s team found the reason they had more of Th17 was because of this one gut microbe.
Odin’s thunderbolt then struck the start of a Eureka! in Dr. Diane’s brain. She had found something in the way of the Opposite-Case: Curiously-healthy mice.
-So she thought:
If the little buggers that get transferred from one lab to another frequently end up getting mouse-arthritis,
But Hers Didn’t,
And Arthritis is related to Inflammation and Immunity,
-Could it be something related to what Dr. Dan was spitting-rhymes about?
She immediately insisted she and Dr. Dan
move in together and have children. start working together and solve the mystery posthaste.
-But first they should
-Which they did.
And the culprit? -Dr. Dan’s Gut Microbe!
Here is where the plot, er -sickens. In some ways, mousey-arthritis is analogous to human arthritis. -Including the Rheumatoid variety.
So setting aside the noble rodent and looking toward us humans, the teams went on to test People who had just been diagnosed with, But Not Yet Medicated-For, -Rheumatoid Arthritis.
[… pause for effect…]
75% of them had Dr. Dan’s gut microbe! -BOOM!
The rest of the mystery plays out as many medical detective-thrillers do:
Mouse-arthritis was not exactly the same as human, the 2 microbes are slightly-different, and genetics, stress, nutrition, lifestyle, are all mitigating factors in humans, etc. etc. etc.
NEVERTHELESS, if someone has RA, there is still a pretty good chance they have Dr. Dan’s Gut Microbe.
-And Perhaps, ridding themselves of it can be the first step in slowing or even stopping RA!
*Especially hopeful, since many of the prospective drugs for RA are harmful in other ways.
+AND, it’s even possible a less-harmful antibiotic or pro-biotic that crowds-out or re-directs the P.copri could be brighter twists on the solution going-forward.
(Note: No, before you ask, The Hygiene Hypothesis was Not a benefit here, as the sterile-lab mice were healthier; but it Did help crack the case.)
Check out the links for further details on what turned out to be a fairly unique type of discovery in bioscience:
“Eyes”, by Rebecca Phillips
“Weather warning sign 1”, by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski, 12frames.eu
“angel 7”, by Marina Garcia
• Source: ScienceNow-Gut Bacteria RA
• More Coverage: Cell-Microbiota and Autoimmune Disease: The Hosted Self | HuffingtonPost | Rheumatology-Vegan Diet RA
• Source Study: Immunity-Gut-Residing Segmented Filamentous Bacteria Drive Autoimmune Arthritis via T Helper 17 Cells