[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/400053]
Prof Joel Bornstein
Prof Henrik Sj Vall
Brief description This project deals with some of the basic mechanisms underlying disorders of gastrointestinal function and in particular with the mechanisms responsible for diarrhoea. Whenever there is a natural disaster (the recent tsunami for example) or a war, the breakdown of medical services leads to concern about outbreaks of cholera and other diarrhoea causing diseases, so understanding the mechanisms by which the cholera bacterium cause diarrhoea remains a major imperative. It is known that the diarrhoea resulting from cholera infection is produced by an enterotoxin, which acts to produce a massive over-secretion of water and salt through the intestinal wall, which if it is not controlled causes death by dehydration. This effect requires the activity of the nerve cells within the gut wall, the enteric nervous system (ENS). Other bacterial toxins have similar effects and also require activity of the ENS for these effects to be manifested. This project will identify how these toxins alter the activity of the ENS and the effects that they have on intestinal movements which are also regulated by the ENS. We already know that the movements and secretion of water are related to each other and that this relationship is disturbed in some more subtle diseases like irritable bowel syndrome. This project will characterise this relationship, thereby shedding light on the physiology underlying a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
Funding Amount $AUD 490,020.54
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant