Disease states, such as those characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis), are due to a host of factors that act in concert to produce pathologic change. The immunologic factors that mediate the development of such mucosal inflammation have been at the forefront of IBD research. Recently, a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in mucosal homeostasis and the occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been achieved with the advent of animal models of mucosal inflammation. This review discusses these models and the insights they provide into the pathogenesis and regulation of IBD.
cytokine network, inflammatory bowel disease, crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, ibd
Mucosal Immunity Section, National Institutes of Health, 10 center Dr, Build 10 Rm 11N238,Bethesda, MD 20892, USA