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Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Sep;16(9):1155-71.

Focus on irritable bowel syndrome.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Naples, Italy.


The Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a clinical syndrome characterized by chronic abdominal dis-comfort associated with changes in bowel habits and these symptoms can't be explained by any biochemical or organic abnormalities. The review summarizes the relevant findings that have emerged in recent years on the pathogenesis of this syndrome. The most important mechanisms recently implicated in the genesis of IBS symptoms are the abnormal intestinal motility, the incongruous intestinal gas production and the enhanced intestinal nociception. A lot evidence confirms the presence of dysfunction of the intrinsic enteric nervous system (ENS) as demonstrated by the presence of altered expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), acid sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC3), putinergic receptor P2X, ligand-gated ion channel 3 (P2X3r), tetrodoxin-sensitive receptor 2 (TTRX2), protease activated receptors (PPARs) and others. There are different assumption that explain these phenomena, and the impairment of the immune system is one of the most reliable. In IBS subjects it was found that the immune system is altered in both the cellular composition and its activation. Many studies have shown that inflammation and immune dysregulation affect the sensitivity of nerve fibers so it is vital to build on this argument for the development of effective therapies to control the symptoms of this syndrome.

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