The Molecular Mechanism of Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling for Intestinal Fibrosis: A Mini-Review

Front Pharmacol. 2019 Feb 27:10:162. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00162. eCollection 2019.


Inflammatory bowel disease is known as the most chronic inflammatory disorder in colon, which subsequently progresses to intestinal obstruction and fistula formation. Many studies to date for the treatment of IBD have been focused on inflammation. However, most of the anti-inflammatory agents do not have anti-fibrotic effects and could not relieve intestinal stricture in IBD patients. Because preventing or reversing intestinal fibrosis in IBD is a major therapeutic target, we analyzed the papers focusing on TGF-β signaling in intestinal fibrosis. TGF-β is a good candidate to treat the intestinal fibrosis in IBD which involves TGF-β signaling pathway, EMT, EndMT, ECM, and other regulators. Understanding the mechanism involved in TGF-β signaling will contribute to the treatment and diagnosis of intestinal fibrosis occurring in IBD as well as the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis.

Keywords: endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; extracellular matrix; inflammatory bowel disease; intestinal fibrosis; transforming growth factor-β.

Publication types

  • Review