Rubbish idea!

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Rubbish idea!

Postby TwistedHelix » Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:24 am

Hi everyone,

This is the first time I've posted on this website and I certainly don't have the medical knowledge and expertise that some of the regular contributors seem to have. However, like many of us I suppose, I try to read and learn as much as I can about this awful disease so that I can make informed decisions about potential treatments and possible breakthroughs. Sometimes I read two articles and link the ideas in my head to reach what I feel is a sensible conclusion, but which is probably a ridiculous idea to those in the know.

This is my latest thinking, and I'd love to know what people think about it: on the myelin Project website, I read a small paragraph about a recent discovery. They had found that an unexpected source of neural stem cells was the nasal mucosa, (I believe this is what ordinary mortals call snot).
As far as I understand it, we are continuously swallowing this substance via the postnasal drip at the back of the throat - in effect we are constantly eating our own stem cells.
In a separate article I had just been reading about 'leaky gut', otherwise known as intestinal permeability, which is a condition which allows larger than normal molecules to permeate the gut and enter the bloodstream - sometimes triggering an immune response instead of the digestive response that ingested materials should provoke.

Putting these two pieces of information together leads me to what I think is an obvious conclusion: could it not be that the ingested neural stem cells find their way into the bloodstream via the leaky gut and set off the immune response? Is this faulty logic, incorrect facts, or just simplistic thinking? I'd be interested to know what you think.

Incidentally, I'm using a speech recognition programme to write this, and it normally works extremely well, but for some reason it keeps deciding to add extra letters to some of the words in random places - I'll try and delete them, but that seems to make the problem worse, so I hope you can understand me anyway!
Thanks for listening,
Domenico.
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nope don't think so

Postby flora68 » Sat Mar 26, 2005 3:35 pm

Welcome to the board. :) And I'm really sorry to be the first to shoot down your theory, but nasal mucosa isn't "snot". The nasal mucosa is tissue, the mucous membrane that lines the nasal cavity. We don't swallow nasal mucosa anymore than we swallow our tonsils. The stuff produced by the nasal mucosa is "snot". And I'm already ready to change the subject. (The oak pollen has many of us self-drowning here in Central Texas. Ah Spring!)

But it's an interesting theory, not rubbish. Keep searching. One day, some weird, "rubbish" theory will set us all free! :wink:
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Postby BioDocFL » Sat Mar 26, 2005 4:08 pm

Domenico,

Welcome to ThisIsMS. Your speech recognition program seems to work fine except it thinks it's English. English people always have a hard time spelling some words like 'programme'. In good ol' American we take shortcuts and settle for 'program'. I guess those two extra letters can make it sound more sophisticated. Of course, the software was probably developed in India to run on Taiwan-manufactured hardware. The world has really become a global place! (if I can coin a Yogi-ism) :D

As I gather, you are suggesting that recycled snot is the problem. Or more specifically, intact cells within the aforementioned snot. You might have something interesting there, but perhaps at a subcellular level.

When the purpose of the small intestines is discussed in biology, it is usually described as the section in the GI tract where small molecules are transferred from the digested material to the blood system: small molecules like amino acids, sugars, simple carbohydrates. It was thought that everything was broken down to simple molecules by the aciditiy of the stomach, and the enzymes (trypsin, pepsin, chymotrypsin, glycosylases, etc.). Proteins, sugars, fats are all broken down to simple amino acids, simple sugars (glucose, fructose) and then transferred into the blood system. These then could cross the intestinal barrier and be absorbed into the blood system, to circulate to the liver and individual cells. Then, in the Krebs cycle (or TCA cycle) that everyone in biochemistry memorizes (and then forgets), the simple two and three carbon molecules are used to manufacture whatever the cell requires at that moment. By restricting the size of molecules that can cross the intestinal barrier, it can prevent invasion by bacteria and some toxins.
In the past 10 or so years we have heard concern about genetically engineered foods, that perhaps larger molecules, like hormones and steroids, could be passing through the intestines and having a greater effect than we would normally expect from our typical hamburger or whatever. That seems to be a realistic concern since hormones are not necessarily much different from amino acids in size and overall electrostatic charge at normal pH (i.e. normal acidity levels). I can't say for sure whether this is something we should be concerned about. I guess in my most simplistic logic I am thinking: estrogen from a cow or protein for macho muscle mass, what am I getting from my hamburger?
Maybe some more onions will make it more macho.
Anyway, I digress. There is an autoimmune disease called cilliac sprue which affects primarily middle aged Caucasian males where they have an autoimmune reaction to gluttin from wheat. Again, in simplistic Wesley thinking, the wheat in the hamburger bun is the problem, not the meat.
Cilliac sprue is an allergic reaction to the gluttin protein in the wheat found in most breads. So this is a protein, not just the amino acid sized material, that is causing a problem in crossing the intestinal barrier. Cilliac sprue usually displays as an inflammation of the intestinal lining and is analyzed as an autoimmune reaction. So, we can begin to think of autoimmune reactions at the protein level, not just the amino acid level. But the typically protein might have 300 amino acids. What you are suggesting with regard to whole cells crossing the intestinal barrier is like the size of an elephant (a protein) to the size of Kenya (a cell). For a cell to pass intact through the stomach (acidity and enzymes) and then pass through the intestinal barrier with enough antigenicity remaining seems like a long stretch. But proteins from snot, that is a possibility. Autogenicity of proteins from dietary material is probably a better, broader way to describe the theory. Cells in snot, I don't see it but perhaps some proteins from snot. I am willing to listen if you can think of more details. You seem imaginative TwistedHelix so lead-on and impress us with your logic.

Wesley

PS: Snot, is that the English or the American spelling? Sounds more American to me. Snothe, would sound more English.
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Postby TwistedHelix » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:29 am

Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to reply - you see, I told you I didn't have any medical knowledge! Here are some more random thoughts: if I have taken on board what you told me correctly, would it still not be possible for proteins from the olfactory ensheathing cells, (or from viruses which mimic these proteins), to make their way into the mucus itself, from there into the gut, and then into the bloodstream via the mechanism of intestinal permeability? There is a posting on this board - at the time of writing it's on page 2 - entitled 'Zonulin, intestinal permeability, and MS', which talks about "undigested foodstuffs, toxins and other bacterial and viral particles" gaining access to the immune system in this way. Zonulin is apparently something produced by the body which controls the permeability of the intestines, although, apparently, there has never been a case of anyone producing enough to allow an elephant through! :lol:

By the way, I am English, so 'programme' is the correct spelling! I don't understand why IBM ViaVoice goes crazy when I'm trying to post on this website: at the moment, there are dozens of letter c's all-over this page, but at least once I close the programme I can correct all the mistakes.

Domenico.
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Postby BioDocFL » Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:04 am

TwistedHelix,

You're right about individual proteins from cells or viruses possibly being able to get through. Perhaps even whole cells or viruses could cross if there was a break/damage in the intestinal wall but they would have to pass through some pretty harsh conditions in the stomach to get there. My analogy of sizes (elephants to Kenya) does seem a poor choice. The orders of magnitude could be off by a few elephants. Long noses on elephants though, hmmm, could be a good model animal for testing your hypothesis! :wink: Actually elephants do bring up an interesting (but disgusting) point. Young elephants need to establish bacteria colonies in their gut to aid digestion. They get this by eating dung from older elephants. Like I said, it's digusting but has implications for your hypothesis.

Mucosa does contain a secreted antibody type, I think it's IgE (or perhaps IgD?) that binds to foreign material to coat the foreign material and block it (like a virus) from binding to cells in the nasal passages, mouth, and esophagus. Helps wash away viruses in the mucosa before they can get a hold and enter cells. Perhaps those antibodies can protect the material as it passes through the gut. The more I think of your idea, the more there is to consider. Let's keep thinking about it. You might be on to something.
The ciliac sprue disease does show that there can be immune reactions to individual protein types in the intestines, and the possibility being researched that hormones from engineered food could cross and circulate would imply that foreign proteins could be a problem. Whole cells crossing still seems unlikely without a compromise to the barrier. We have bacteria living in our gut to help digestion but they would be a problem for us if they got across the barrier on a regular basis. I have wondered about people with internal hemarroids (sp). If they have internal bleeding going on, perhaps some bacteria are crossing and giving a bit of a mild systemic infection on a frequent basis. Perhaps we could apply your hypothesis to those bacteria in our gut. Maybe they are creating some proteins that are invoking an autoimmune reaction in some people. Perhaps the zonulin can cause great enough changes in permeability.
I was just kidding about the English vs American spelling of words. Your voice software seems to work fine. I see problems with spelling in my posts but no problems in your posts.
Keep thinking and posting!

Wesley
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Postby TwistedHelix » Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:33 am

Thanks Wesley,

I'm really flattered that you think this idea might be worthy of more consideration, but I'm already getting out of my depth with some of the science! My original post genuinely was the random musings of an ignorant mind - you know, one of those "hey, I wonder if..." moments. I'm definitely going to think about it some more but I doubt if I can take it much further, although I do find myself wondering what would happen if a virus infected the body in the normal way, penetrating the stem cells in the nasal mucosa, and then some of the proteins found their way into the bloodstream via the route we've already talked about. Would that make any difference to the immune response?

I seem to remember reading, some time ago, about experiments to do with immunity. The logic went something like this:

When we ingest something, we are not supposed to have an immune response to that substance, if we do, that can manifest itself as a dangerous allergy.
If we already have an immune response to a substance within our bodies such as cartilage or nervous system tissue, then eating some of that substance will tell our bodies to generate a digestive response instead of an immune response, thereby resetting the immune system.

I don't think I have explained that very well, but does it ring any bells? I have got a feeling that the results of the experiment did not bear out the theory, although if you've got a leaky gut then ingesting the substance would only deliver that substance, (okay, proteins or particles from it), straight into the bloodstream and reinforce the faulty immune response. I remember thinking at the time ," I wonder if that means that digestion is a modified form of immunity, or vice-versa" - I'd be intrigued to know the answer to that.

Well, I'll leave you to ponder those points, (I'm not sure I've actually made any points). By the way, don't worry, I know you were only kidding about the English spellings, and I just hope that the cure for MS doesn't turn out to be eating elephant dung! :)

PS Quote from Shakespeare; "Fair Desdemona, I am less worthy than thy ladies' snothe". (!)

It's been good to talk to you,

Domenico.
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