Mucosal healing in ulcerative colitis: pathophysiology and pharmacology

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a colonic inflammatory condition with a substantial impact on the quality of life of affected persons. The disease carries a cumulative risk of need of colectomy of 20-30% and an estimated cumulative risk of colorectal cancer of 18% after 30 years of disease duration. With the introduction of the tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors for the treatment of UC, it has become increasingly evident that the disease course is influenced by whether or not the patient achieves mucosal healing. Thus, patients with mucosal healing have fewer flare-ups, a decreased risk of colectomy, and a lower probability of developing colorectal cancer. Understanding the mechanisms of mucosal wound formation and wound healing in UC, and how they are affected therapeutically is therefore of importance for obtaining efficient treatment strategies holding the potential of changing the disease course of UC. This review is focused on the pathophysiological mechanism of mucosal wound formation in UC as well as the known mechanisms of intestinal wound healing. Regarding the latter topic, pathways of both wound healing intrinsic to epithelial cells and the wound-healing mechanisms involving interaction between epithelial cells and other cells of the mucosa are discussed. The biochemistry of wound healing in UC provides the basis for the subsequent description of how these pathways are affected by the current medications, and what can be learnt on how to design future treatment regimens for UC based on targeting mucosal healing.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesAdvances in Clinical Chemistry
Pages (from-to)101-23
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • Cell Communication, Colitis, Ulcerative, Humans, Intestinal Mucosa, Wound Healing, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review

ID: 173051230