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Etiopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease: today and tomorrow

de Souza, Heitor S.P.a,b

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: July 2017 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 222–229
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000364
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), represent chronic diseases of unknown cause, and they are regarded as prototypical complex diseases. Despite all the recent advances, a complete appreciation of the pathogenesis of IBD is still limited. In this review, we present recent information contributing to a better understanding of mechanisms underlying IBD.

Recent findings Here, we attempt to highlight novel environmental triggers, data on the gut microbiota, its interaction with the host, and the potential influence of diet and food components. We discuss recent findings on defective signaling pathways and the potential effects on the immune response, and we present new data on epigenetic changes, inflammasome, and damage-associated molecular patterns associated with IBD.

Summary The continuing identification of several epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic alterations in patients with IBD reflects the complex nature of the disease and suggests the need for innovative approaches such as systems biology for identifying novel relevant targets in IBD.

aServiço de Gastroenterologia e Laboratório Multidisciplinar de Pesquisa, Departamento de Clínica Médica, Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

bD’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Correspondence to Heitor S.P. de Souza, MD, PhD, Serviço de Gastroenterologia & Laboratório Multidisciplinar de Pesquisa, Hospital Universitário, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rua Prof. Rodolpho Paulo Rocco 255, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-913, Brazil. Tel: +55 (21) 3938 2669; fax: +55 (21) 3938 2669; e-mail:,

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