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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Nov 14;13(42):5581-93.

Insights from advances in research of chemically induced experimental models of human inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA 02114, USA.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the most important being Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, results from chronic dysregulation of the mucosal immune system in the gastrointestinal tract. Although the pathogenesis of IBD remains unclear, it is widely accepted that genetic, environmental, and immunological factors are involved. Recent studies suggest that intestinal epithelial defenses are important to prevent inflammation by protecting against microbial pathogens and oxidative stresses. To investigate the etiology of IBD, animal models of experimental colitis have been developed and are frequently used to evaluate new anti-inflammatory treatments for IBD. Several models of experimental colitis that demonstrate various pathophysiological aspects of the human disease have been described. In this manuscript, we review the characteristic features of IBD through a discussion of the various chemically induced experimental models of colitis (e.g. dextran sodium sulfate-, 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-, oxazolone-, acetic acid-, and indomethacin-induced models). We also summarize some regulatory and pathogenic factors demonstrated by these models that can, hopefully, be exploited to develop future therapeutic strategies against IBD.

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