Laminins are structural components of basement membranes that regulate and control many cellular functions. Changes in basement membrane composition play significant roles in etiology of diseases. Inflammatory bowel diseases are conditions that lead to defects in the mucosal barrier which includes the basement membrane underlying the epithelium. This review will summarize the main findings related to the involvement of laminins and of the laminin-binding receptors in inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. We will review the current literature devoted to studies in humans (immunolocalisation, genetic factors, microarray data), as well as experimental cell models that show that laminins contribute to the inflammation process probably linked to the deregulation of proinflammatory cytokines.
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