Allergies and epigenetic histone modifications

This 2018 German review provided short summaries of 44 studies on the contribution of histone modifications to allergies. An overall summary of their search results was: “There are at least two levels at which the role of histone modifications is manifested. One is the regulation of cells that contribute to the allergic inflammation (T cells … Continue reading Allergies and epigenetic histone modifications

Every baby needs a sugar mama

This 2021 in vitro study examined butyrate producers: “Butyrate produced by gut microbiota has multiple beneficial effects on host health. Oligosaccharides derived from host diets, and glycans originating from host mucus, are major sources of its production. Butyrate is the major energy source for epithelial cells in the distal colon, induces differentiation of colonic regulatory … Continue reading Every baby needs a sugar mama

Sulforaphane vs. too much oxygen

This 2021 rodent study investigated perinatal effects of hyperoxia and sulforaphane: “We demonstrated that early-life oxidant-induced acute lung injury had significant consequences later in life on NRF2-dependent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) susceptibility in mice. We also determined that increased antioxidant conditions in utero potentially contribute to a decreased risk of postnatal airway disease as we … Continue reading Sulforaphane vs. too much oxygen

Your lungs and Nrf2 activity

Two 2021 papers of Nrf2 activation effects on lung diseases, with the first a McGill University review: “Oxidative stress and subsequent activation of Nrf2 have been demonstrated in many human respiratory diseases. The purpose of this review is to summarize involvement of Nrf2 and its inducers in acute respiratory distress syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Continue reading Your lungs and Nrf2 activity

Immune system aging

This 2021 review by three coauthors of Take responsibility for your one precious life – Trained innate immunity cast a wide net: “Non-specific innate and antigen-specific adaptive immunological memories are vital evolutionary adaptations that confer long-lasting protection against a wide range of pathogens. However, these mechanisms of memory generation and maintenance are compromised as organisms … Continue reading Immune system aging

Glutathione primes β-glucan-trained immunity

Two 2021 papers on glutathione interactions with β-glucan, with the first studying human cells from healthy donors: “(1→3)-β-D-Glucan stimulation induces epigenetic and transcriptomic changes in monocytes associated with increased glutathione (GSH) synthesis and metabolism. Intracellular glutathione levels were crucial in regulating several monocyte antifungal functions including resilience to oxidative stress, immunometabolism, nitric oxide production, phagocytosis, … Continue reading Glutathione primes β-glucan-trained immunity

Trained immunity genes

This 2021 human cell study investigated trained immunity responses: “We integrated genetic, epigenetic, and functional validation data to shed light on regulation of trained immunity responses. This data integration revealed a novel role of SIGLECs and KDM4 genes on trained immunity responses. Siglec-5 is an inhibitory receptor that dampens the immune response, and was found … Continue reading Trained immunity genes

Saving bees by regulating epigenetics

This 2021 study investigated an epigenetic treatment for bees forgetting about their hives: “Over the last few decades, numbers of both wild and managed bee pollinators have been declining. Although reasons for this decline are under debate, it is highly likely that a combination of multiple stressors is to blame, in particular, deformed wing virus … Continue reading Saving bees by regulating epigenetics

Reworking evolutionary theory

Dr. Michael Skinner coauthored a 2021 review arguing for inclusion of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance into evolutionary theory: “Over the past 50 years, molecular technology has been used to investigate evolutionary biology. Many examples of finding no correlated genetic mutations or a low frequency of DNA sequence mutations suggest that additional mechanisms are also involved. Identical twins … Continue reading Reworking evolutionary theory

Remembering encounters provides future benefits

Two 2021 papers on trained immunity, with the first a review: “Effective memory immune responses rely on interaction between innate and adaptive immune cells. While activation of innate immunity provides the first line of defense against infections, it also primes the adaptive immune response. Adaptive immunity can enhance antimicrobial machinery of innate cells, making them … Continue reading Remembering encounters provides future benefits

Endless shingles

This 2021 review subject was the follow-on condition of chicken pox: “Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a pathogenic human alpha herpes virus which is a significant cause of morbidity. VZV causes a primary infection, usually in children, called varicella (chicken pox), following which it establishes ganglionic latency in neurons. Latency is established in ganglia throughout the … Continue reading Endless shingles

Trained immunity mechanisms

This 2021 cell study investigated how inflammatory memory is established, maintained, and recalled: “Cells retain a memory of inflammation that equips them to react quickly and broadly to diverse secondary stimuli. Temporal, dynamic changes to chromatin accessibility, histone modifications, and transcription factor (TF) binding occur during inflammation, post-resolution, and in memory recall following injury. Epigenetic … Continue reading Trained immunity mechanisms

Gut microbiota and critical development periods

This 2021 rodent study focused on global histone acetylation as a model to understand roles of microbially produced short-chain fatty acids in liver function: “Despite the utility of germ-free mice in probing complex interactions between gut microbiota and host physiology, germ-free mice are developmentally, physiologically, and metabolically unique when compared with their conventionally housed counterparts. … Continue reading Gut microbiota and critical development periods

All about vasopressin

This 2021 review subject was vasopressin: “Vasopressin is a ubiquitous molecule playing an important role in a wide range of physiological processes, thereby implicated in pathomechanisms of many disorders. The most striking is its central effect in stress-axis regulation, as well as regulating many aspects of our behavior. Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is a nonapeptide that is … Continue reading All about vasopressin

Ride the waves of gene expression with betaine

This 2021 cell study investigated a dietary supplement’s role in preventing nerve disease: “A loss of epigenetic control has been implicated in development of neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies have implicated aberrant DNA and histone methylation in multiple sclerosis (MS) disease pathogenesis. We have previously reported that methyl donor betaine is depleted in MS and is … Continue reading Ride the waves of gene expression with betaine