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Research projects

Intestinal macrophages in pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress

Contact

Ashok Kumawat

Research environments

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), primarily Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a chronic disease of unknown origin. A substantial proportion of patients with IBD develop serious complications such as bowel obstruction, fistula, and colorectal cancer. A crucial clinical problem is that we have very little means of predicting who will develop the disease and who will progress and develop severe disease with complications. Earlier identification and prognostic markers of disease progression would dramatically increase the likelihood of healthy, active and independent lives until old age.

Macrophages are of great interest in this perspective, being essential for both homeostasis and active immunity. Gut macrophages are usually anti-inflammatory, but in IBD, they secrete pro-inflammatory mediators that cause tissue damage; they also play a significant role in the development of fibrosis that is an important complication of chronic CD.

The purpose of this work is to increase our understanding of the largest population of macrophages in the body and to provide further insight into their role in pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease, especially during fibrosis.