A drug called tofacitinib, also called Xeljanz , was found to treat permeability defects in the intestines. Tofacitinib is an FDA-approved drug known to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease currently affecting 1 million Americans. It is a chronic disease causing leakiness in the large intestine.
"Our work could help improve identification of patients who will be better responders to this drug," says biomedical scientist Declan F. McCole at the University of California, Riverside.
The drug was found to reduce the expression "protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor Type 2," or PTPN2.
"Patients with the loss-of-function mutations in PTPN2 have an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease," McCole said. "Our work improves our understanding of how this drug is useful for treating ulcerative colitis and suggests that patients with loss-of-function mutations in the PTPN2 gene may have a better response to tofacitinib. This could help with improved targeting of drug treatments to specific groups of patients."
Findings were published Journal of Crohn's and Colitis.
Source: Science Daily