Themes in fibrosis and gastrointestinal inflammation

1Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.74). 03/2011; 300(5):G677-83. DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00104.2011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Wound healing is an appropriate response to inflammation and tissue injury in the gastrointestinal tract. If wound healing responses are excessive, perpetuated, or prolonged, they lead to fibrosis, distortion of tissue architecture, and loss of function. This introductory editorial and the minireviews or reviews in this themes series highlight the diversity in severity and location of fibrosis in response to gastrointestinal inflammation. The multiplicity of cellular and molecular mediators and new players, including stem cells or extracellular matrix-producing cells derived from nonmesenchymal cell types, is reviewed. Comparisons of inflammation-induced fibrosis across organ systems and the need for integrated and systems-based molecular approaches, new imaging modalities, well-characterized animal models, cell culture models, and improved diagnostic or predictive markers are reviewed. To date, intestinal fibrosis has received much less attention than inflammation in terms of defining mechanisms and underlying causes. This themes series aims to illustrate the importance of research in this area in gastrointestinal health and disease.

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