Animal models of gastrointestinal inflammation and cancer

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Inflammation and cancer are the two major disorders in the gastrointestinal tract. They are causally related in their pathogenesis. It is important to study animal models' causal relationship and, in particular, to discover new therapeutic agents for such diseases. There are several criteria for these models in order to make them useful in better understanding the etiology and treatment of the said diseases in humans. In this regard, animal models should be similar as possible to human diseases and also be easy to produce and reproducible and also economic to allow a continuous replication in different laboratories. In this review, we summarize the various animal models for inflammatory and cancerous disorders in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. Experimental approaches are as simple as by giving a single oral dose of alcohol or other noxious agents or by injections of multiple dosages of ulcer inducing agents or by parenteral administration or in drinking water of carcinogens or by modifying the genetic makeups of animals to produce relatively long-term pathological changes in particular organs. With these methods they could induce consistent inflammatory responses or tumorigenesis in the gastrointestinal mucosa. These animal models are widely used in laboratories in understanding the pathogenesis as well as the mechanisms of action for therapeutic agents in the treatment of gastrointestinal inflammation and cancer.

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