Inflammatory bowel disease: clinical aspects and treatments
Marc Fakhoury,1 Rebecca Negrulj,2 Armin Mooranian,2 Hani Al-Salami2
1Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Artificial Cells and Organs Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; 2Biotechnology and Drug Development Research Laboratory, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Biosciences Research Precinct, School of Pharmacy, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is defined as a chronic intestinal inflammation that results from host-microbial interactions in a genetically susceptible individual. IBDs are a group of autoimmune diseases that are characterized by inflammation of both the small and large intestine, in which elements of the digestive system are attacked by the body's own immune system. This inflammatory condition encompasses two major forms, known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Patients affected by these diseases experience abdominal symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, and vomiting. Moreover, defects in intestinal epithelial barrier function have been observed in a number of patients affected by IBD. In this review, we first describe the types and symptoms of IBD and investigate the role that the epithelial barrier plays in the pathophysiology of IBD as well as the major cytokines involved. We then discuss steps used to diagnose this disease and the treatment options available, and finally provide an overview of the recent research that aims to develop new therapies for such chronic disorders.
Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, cytokines
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