Gene Therapy, May 2003, Volume 10, Number 10, Pages 854-860
S Wirtz1 and M F Neurath
Laboratory of Immunology, I. Medical Clinic, University of Mainz, Germany
The pathogenesis of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease, involves a complex interplay between certain genetic, environmental and immunological factors.
Considerable research progress in the last decade defined key inflammatory pathways in the inflamed gut and identified new potential therapeutic targets.
Since the current medical treatment with corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs is often associated with undesired side effects and cannot completely cure IBD, these current advances in our understanding of intestinal pathology may now allow the development of new biologic treatment strategies including gene therapy.
In this review, we will give a brief overview of potential gene therapy target molecules related to chronic intestinal inflammation.
Furthermore, we summarize the results of recent preclinical studies for intestinal gene transfer and discuss future perspectives.