An impaired immune system can be a cause of Crohn’s disease, however until now the diseases was thought to be caused by increased inflammation.
In a brief description of Crohn’s, it is an inflammatory disease of the bowel and the symptoms include fever, pain, diarrhea, and a significant weight loss. The most common cause of Crohn’s is that the bacteria or viruses may be a trigger of excessive inflammation.
It was discovered that the people with Crohn’s disease were found to be suffering from defective immune response.
In a normal response by the body to an injury, the immune system identifies the infection or injury and then there is a call being given to the white blood cells, which then engulf the bacteria and kill them. After that the pus is formed and it consists of dead cells and other cellular debris.
It was found that the patients who were suffering from Crohn’s disease had very low levels of neutrophils at the injury site in the bowel and skin.
The researchers injected the patients with E. coli after extracting out the harmful substances and then injected it into the arms of the patients to study the blood flow and the immune response to bacteria.
The researchers found that there was much lower blood flow response in the Crohn’s patients as compared to the people who did not have any disease.
Therefore it was suggested that in Crohn’s disease the people suffering from it have a very delayed response and elimination of the bacteria due to the ineffective neutrophil response.
The researchers also noted that the stimulation of blood flow with drugs like Viagra can help compensate for the lack of neutrophil activity.
The researchers stated that the wall of the bowel is normally an effective barrier between the bowel contents and the inner bowel lining, but when the barrier is broken by an injury or infection then the bacteria seep into the bowel wall and cause an acute inflammatory response, which would bring things back to normal.
However in Crohn’s disease the acute inflammation response fails to start and thus leaves the bacteria to grow in the bowel wall, which thus triggers the chronic secondary inflammation.