What is it about?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a pervasive gastrointestinal disorder that escapes routine diagnosis due to the lack of a definitive testing methodology. Here, a subset of seven human genes is identified as being dysregulated in patients with IBS. Furthermore, given the close association of vitamin D, serotonin metabolism, and IBS in the gut-brain axis, vitamin D was tested for its ability to regulate both serotonergic and non-serotonergic genes found to be dysregulated in IBS. Following testing, it was found that vitamin D caused a reversal of aberrant gene expression in four IBS-candidate genes.

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Why is it important?

This proposed panel of seven genes and supporting evidence of the potential therapeutic effects of vitamin D provides information for the further development of more refined diagnostic tools and therapies to treat IBS.


IBS is a complex disease with a multifactor pathophysiology. The current study, which reveals a partial dimension of IBS etiology, will prompt further discussion amongst both researchers and clinical professionals to ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Keaton Coker
Arizona State University

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This page is a summary of: Identification of putative transcriptomic biomarkers in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Differential gene expression and regulation of TPH1 and SERT by vitamin D, PLoS ONE, October 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275683.
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