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Clin Perinatol. 2013 Mar;40(1):109-24. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2012.12.008. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Inflammatory signaling in necrotizing enterocolitis.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Chicago Research Center, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 225 East Chicago Avenue, Box 45, Chicago, IL 60611-2605, USA.


The pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is complex and its speed of progression is variable. To gain understanding of the disease, researchers have examined tissues resected from patients with NEC; however, as these are obtained at late stages of the disease, they do not yield clues about the early pathogenic events leading to NEC. Therefore, animal models are used and have helped identify a role for several mediators of the inflammatory network in NEC. In this article, we discuss the evidence for the role of these inflammatory mediators and conclude with a current unifying hypothesis regarding NEC pathogenesis.

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