Although the research from UT Southwester is a breakthrough discovery of how the immune system in the bowel works to fend off pathogens, the research team was cautious in explaining the implications of the findings. The research has only been conducted on mice, to date, and only used genetic mutations to mirror Crohn’s disease. The secondary immune mechanism discovered is still largely not understood.
"Understanding of what is going on in Crohn's patients and the role of mutations in this backup defense system will take much more research," Dr. Hooper said. "We believe this study provides a better understanding of what goes wrong in the intestinal lining in Crohn's patients. Time will tell."