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Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Nov;14(12):1490-500.

Leukocyte traffic blockade as a therapeutic strategy in inflammatory bowel disease.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Division of Gastroenterology, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, California 92093-0063, USA.


Dysregulated recruitment of leukocytes into the intestine is a characteristic feature of IBD. Several families of molecules regulate the influx of these cells into sites of inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. Pharmacological blockade of interactions between molecules that mediate the formation of stable bonds (integrins) and their endothelial ligands has already shown clinical efficacy. Antibodies that target participant molecules have been approved by the US Federal Drug Administration for use in Crohn's, multiple sclerosis (MS) (i.e. natalizumab) and psoriasis (i.e. efalizumab). A more recent additional family of drugs, which might also interfere with lymphocyte traffic (i.e. sphingosine-1- phosphate receptor agonists: fingolimod) is in clinical use for MS and just recently entered the clinical trial stage for ulcerative colitis. In the present review we discuss basic aspects of clinically relevant molecules and compile the clinical studies that support the targeting of specific steps of the leukocyte adhesion cascade for therapeutic purposes in IBD.

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