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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 6 (1997), Issue 2, Pages 95-103

Cytokines in inflammatory bowel disease

Intestinal Disease Research Unit, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Calgary, Canada

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the past decade, much has been learned regarding the role of various cytokines in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Several cytokine ‘knockout’ models in mice have been shown to develop colitis, while alterations in the production of various cytokines has been documented in human Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In recent years, attempts have been made to treat these diseases through modulation of cytokine production or action. This review focuses on the cytokines that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. The evidence for and against a role for particular cytokines in intestinal inflammation is reviewed, as is the experimental and clinical data suggesting that cytokines are rational targets for the development of new therapies.