Browse by Medical Category
Center for the Study of IBD
Atul Bhan, MDConsultant
Robert Sedlacek, MScTechnical Consultant
Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, collectively known as the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Recent efforts in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified 163 genes associated with CD, e.g., CARD15, IL-23R, ATG16L1, TNFSF15 and IRGM. These studies have highlighted the significance of the relationship between intracellular responses to microbes (autophagy, phagocytosis and innate immunity) and regulation of adaptive immunity (IL-23 ==> Th17 cells) in the pathogenesis of IBD. Spontaneous gene mutations, targeted disruption and transgenic expression of selected mouse genes have unveiled a number of additional adaptive and innate immune genes that govern the pathogenesis of chronic enterocolitis. Thus, both approaches have proven to be of importance toward understanding the molecular underpinnings of these complex diseases.
Rodent models of chronic intestinal inflammation provide useful tools to dissect the pathways that lead to pathogenesis of IBD. Targeted disruption or transgenic expression of genes, manipulation of selected lymphocyte subsets and spontaneous gene mutations demonstrate that immunoregulatory abnormalities lead to chronic intestinal and systemic inflammation.
Back to Top