I need to read this a few more times, and don't know if I will be able to today. So if someone else feels up to pulling out quotes or commenting, please, by all means, do. Have researchers ever looked at the levels of Crtc in the brains of people with ME/CFS/FM or similar illnesses? I do see that there has been research on neuropetide Y and chronic fatigue syndrome. Maybe some of you are up on this?
The study, published the week of May 16, 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows a molecular pathway by which the brain communicates with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to prevent unnecessary activation of the immune system during fasting by strengthening the barrier against gut microbes. The discovery of this brain-gut signal in fruit flies, which has many parallels to humans, could eventually inform the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases in people.
The new study is part of an ongoing collaborative effort by the Montminy lab and the lab of Salk Professor John Thomas to pin down the mechanisms that a genetic switch in the brain called Crtc uses to control energy balance. A constant network of communication–between our brains and the GI tract, as well as other tissues–helps our bodies keep tabs on our energy expenditure and stores. Crtc interacts with another molecule called CREB, and fasting activates both proteins and boosts formation of long-term memories.
While looking for molecular partners of Crtc, the researchers uncovered a protein called short neuropeptide F (sNPF), which is also found in the brain and has an equivalent in humans (called neuropeptide Y). This peptide is known to cause flies and mammals to search for food in response to hunger signals. Without sNPF in the brain, the flies showed signs of gut inflammation similar to those flies missing Crtc. What’s more, the normally tight seals along the gastrointestinal tract were broken down in the sNPF-lacking flies, letting bacteria out.