Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the esophagus that is compounded by both genetic predisposition and aberrant responses to environmental antigens, particularly those that are food derived. Data have indicated a unique transcriptional response in vivo that defines EoE and that appears to be partially attributable to the T(H)2 cytokine IL-13. Moreover, a number of genetic risk variants in proinflammatory and epithelial cell genes associate with EoE susceptibility, demonstrating novel heritable mechanisms that contribute to disease risk. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the intrinsic (genetic) and extrinsic (environmental) components that illustrate the complex nature of EoE.
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