How glycomics can be used to measure Chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is a major health concern worldwide, associated with numerous diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. While inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, persistent or chronic inflammation can lead to tissue damage and contribute to the development of various diseases.

Recent advances in the field of glycomics have provided a powerful tool for studying chronic inflammation. Glycomics is the study of glycans, which are complex carbohydrates attached to proteins and lipids. Glycosylation, the process by which glycans are attached to proteins, affects more than 50% of proteins in the human body and is involved in virtually every biological process.

The glycosylation patterns of human plasma glycoproteins are now recognized as a good metric for systemic and chronic inflammation, ageing, and several diseases. Glycomics has the potential to improve our understanding of chronic inflammatory diseases and accelerate the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

For instance, glycosylation changes in specific proteins can serve as indicators of chronic inflammation. In the serum of individuals with chronic inflammatory disorders like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, for example, some glycans have been found to be increased. These glycans can be measured using high throughput glycomics and innovative technologies such as GlyHealh, making them potential biomarkers for these conditions.

Furthermore, the glycosylation patterns of immunoglobulins (antibodies) have been found to be associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. In particular, decreased galactosylation of IgG has been associated with chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Glycomics also holds great promise for identifying novel biomarkers and disease processes associated with chronic inflammation. Recent publications have demonstrated that serum IgG N-glycan structures in certain types of cancer patients have sensitivity and specificity comparable to currently used clinical cancer biomarkers. 

Overall, glycomics is a rapidly advancing field with significant potential to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic inflammation-related diseases. By analysing the glycosylation patterns of proteins and developing innovative glycan markers, researchers are opening new avenues for understanding and combating chronic inflammation.

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