Osteopontin (OPN) is involved in a variety of biological processes, including bone remodeling, innate immunity, acute and chronic inflammation, and cancer. The expression of OPN occurs in various tissues and cells, including intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells such as macrophages, dendritic cells, and T lymphocytes. OPN plays an important role in the efficient development of T helper 1 immune responses and cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis. The association of OPN with apoptosis has been investigated. In this review, we described the role of OPN in inflammatory gastrointestinal and liver diseases, focusing on the association of OPN with apoptosis. OPN changes its association with apoptosis depending on the type of disease and the phase of disease activity, acting as a promoter or a suppressor of inflammation and inflammatory carcinogenesis. It is essential that the roles of OPN in those diseases are elucidated, and treatments based on its mechanism are developed.
Keywords: apoptosis; cacinogenesis; gastrointestinal; inflammation; liver; osteopontin.