New therapeutic strategies for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Mucosal Immunol. 2008 May;1(3):175-82. doi: 10.1038/mi.2008.7. Epub 2008 Mar 5.


Although the precise etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) still remains unclear, considerable progress has been made in the identification of cytokine-mediated signaling pathways involved in the inflammatory process. Recent data have clearly shown that these pathways induce augmented intestinal T-cell activation and thus resistance to apoptosis, which is a central process in disease pathogenesis, as it impairs mucosal homeostasis. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies aim at restoring activated effector T-cell susceptibility to apoptosis in the gut, based on a pathophysiological rationale. This development is best exemplified by the emergence of agents that target the TNF pathway, IL-6 trans-signaling, and the IL-12/IL-23 pathway. These compounds give hope for the development of new strategies aiming at more effective and less toxic therapies for IBD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Cytokines