Volume 12 Issue 3, March 2015

Volume 12 Issue 3

Cover image supplied by H. Plovier and P. D. Cani, WELBIO (Walloon Excellence in Life sciences and BIOtechnology), Louvain Drug Research Institue, Metabolism and Nutrition research group, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Founded by an ERC Starting Grant 336452-ENIGMO.Immunofluorescence image of enteroendocrine L cells in the epithelium and gut bacteria in the luminal content of the mouse proximal colon. Tissue was stained to show L cells (mouse anti-GLP1) and intermediary filaments of the colonic epithelium (rabbit anti-cytokeratin 8). Nuclei were stained by Hoechst 33342. Gut microbes present in the colonic content can be seen thanks to aspecific staining.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    The stem cells in the stomach and intestine are regulated by different signalling pathways and give rise to entirely different specialized lineages. A study by Simmini and colleagues suggests that the organ-specific identity of gastrointestinal stem cells is regulated by one transcription factor, Cdx2.

    • James M. Wells
  • News & Views |

    New ultrasonography and MRI techniques offer the promise of accessible and accurate quantification of hepatic steatosis. Application of these techniques to help define the natural history and severity of NAFLD is required before we can determine their clinical utility.

    • Leon A. Adams
  • News & Views |

    The gut microbiota has an important role in colorectal cancer (CRC). Dejea and colleagues have demonstrated that particular bacterial biofilms are associated with proximal CRC, correlating with changes in tissue biology associated with oncogenesis. These findings provide a fresh perspective on the microbiota in cancer: microbial organization might provide critical insight into understanding CRC development.

    • Georgina L. Hold
    •  & Wendy S. Garrett
  • News & Views |

    Therapeutic vaccines are considered to be able to reverse the dysfunctional immune state of chronic hepatitis B and thus hold the promise for HBV cure. Martin et al. developed a novel adenovirus-based therapeutic vaccine TG1050 and demonstrated its induction of long-lasting antiviral CD8+ T-cell immunity in mouse models of HBV persistence.

    • Hung-Chih Yang
    •  & Jia-Horng Kao
  • News & Views |

    A report has demonstrated that in patients with atrial fibrillation the novel oral anticoagulant, dabigatran, increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding by nearly twofold compared with warfarin. Here, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents is placed into clinical context and key management principles are emphasized.

    • Don C. Rockey


  • Review Article |

    Diet is one of the main behavioural factors manipulated by patients with IBD, but dietary advice has only a minor part in current treatment guidelines. Here, Halmos and Gibson describe a step-wise approach to the dietary management of IBD, detailing dietary and nutritional assessments and how diet can potentially influence disease activity, symptoms and disease prevention.

    • Emma P. Halmos
    •  & Peter R. Gibson
  • Review Article |

    Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) leads to progressive cholestasis, biliary fibrosis and cirrhosis and characteristic symptoms with a marked effect on quality of life. Evolution in our understanding of disease mechanisms in PBC is rapidly leading to the advent of new and re-purposed therapeutic agents targeting key processes. This Review provides a current perspective on potential approaches to PBC treatment, and highlights the challenges faced in evaluating and implementing those treatments.

    • Jessica K. Dyson
    • , Gideon M. Hirschfield
    • , David H. Adams
    • , Ulrich Beuers
    • , Derek A. Mann
    • , Keith D. Lindor
    •  & David E. J. Jones
  • Review Article |

    Chronic abdominal pain is common in children, but poorly understood. This Review summarizes the mechanisms and management of childhood functional abdominal pain in a bid to improve understanding and quality of care. The article provides up-to-date information on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapeutic management of this common childhood condition.

    • Judith Korterink
    • , Niranga Manjuri Devanarayana
    • , Shaman Rajindrajith
    • , Arine Vlieger
    •  & Marc A. Benninga


  • Review Article |

    Video capsule endoscopy has revolutionized the diagnostic work-up in the field of small bowel diseases and could be applied to screening the entire gastrointestinal tract. This Review focuses on computational methods that can be implemented in software to enhance video capsule endoscopy procedures in terms of time efficiency and diagnostic performance.

    • Dimitris K. Iakovidis
    •  & Anastasios Koulaouzidis