Animal models of mucosal inflammation and their relation to human inflammatory bowel disease

Curr Opin Immunol. 1999 Dec;11(6):648-56. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(99)00032-1.


Animal models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been useful in the identification of those immune responses uniquely involved in IBD pathogenesis and in defining the important roles of environmental influences, such as normal luminal bacterial flora and the genetic composition of the host, in modifying IBD-associated inflammation. Recent studies have focused particular attention on CD4+ T cells which produce excessive quantities either of Th1 cytokines (IFN-gamma and TNF) directed by IL-12 or of a Th2 cytokine (IL-4), relative to the production of suppressive cytokines such as IL-10 and transforming growth factor beta. Such insights will be extremely beneficial in the development of novel approaches to the control of IBD-type inflammation, such as the use of anticytokine therapies and gene therapy, and finally, in the identification of the genetic abnormalities and the antigens driving the inflammation that underlies the human disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology*
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology