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Recent insights into the molecular pathogenesis of Crohn's disease: a review of emerging therapeutic targets

Authors Manuc T, Manuc M, Diculescu M

Received 19 June 2015

Accepted for publication 21 September 2015

Published 15 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 59—70


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Jan Bilski

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser

Teodora-Ecaterina M Manuc,1 Mircea M Manuc,2 Mircea M Diculescu2

1Fundeni Clinical Institute, 2University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol Davila", Bucharest, Romania

Abstract: Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are a subject of great interest in gastroenterology, due to a pathological mechanism that is difficult to explain and an optimal therapeutic approach still undiscovered. Crohn's disease (CD) is one of the main entities in IBD, characterized by clinical polymorphism and great variability in the treatment response. Modern theories on the pathogenesis of CD have proven that gut microbiome and environmental factors lead to an abnormal immune response in a genetically predisposed patient. Genome-wide association studies in patients with CD worldwide revealed several genetic mutations that increase the risk of IBD and that predispose to a more severe course of disease. Gut microbiota is considered a compulsory and an essential part in the pathogenesis of CD. Intestinal dysmicrobism with excessive amounts of different bacterial strains can be found in all patients with IBD. The discovery of Escherichia coli entero-invasive on resection pieces in patients with CD now increases the likelihood of antimicrobial or vaccine-type treatments. Recent studies targeting intestinal immunology and its molecular activation pathways provide new possibilities for therapeutics. In addition to antitumor necrosis factor molecules, which were a breakthrough in IBD, improving mucosal healing and resection-free survival rate, other classes of therapeutic agents come to focus. Leukocyte adhesion inhibitors block the leukocyte homing mechanism and prevent cellular immune response. In addition to anti-integrin antibodies, chemokine receptor antagonists and SMAD7 antisense oligonucleotides have shown encouraging results in clinical trials. Micro-RNAs have demonstrated their role as disease biomarkers but it could also become useful for the treatment of IBD. Moreover, cellular therapy is another therapeutic approach under development, aimed for severe refractory CD. Other experimental treatments include intravenous immunoglobulins, exclusive enteral nutrition, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factors.

Keywords: microbiota, GWAS, biologic therapy, micro-RNA, stem cell therapy

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