Intestinal hypoxia and hypoxia-induced signalling as therapeutic targets for IBD
| Tissue hypoxia occurs when local oxygen demand exceeds oxygen supply. In chronic inflammatory conditions such as IBD, the increased oxygen demand by resident and gut-infiltrating immune cells coupled with vascular dysfunction brings about a marked reduction in mucosal oxygen concentrations. To counter the hypoxic challenge and ensure their survival, mucosal cells induce adaptive responses, including the activation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and modulation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Both pathways are tightly regulated by oxygen-sensitive prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs), which therefore represent promising therapeutic targets for IBD. In this Review, we discuss the involvement of mucosal hypoxia and hypoxia-induced signalling in the pathogenesis of IBD and elaborate in detail on the role of HIFs, NF-κB and PHDs in different cell types during intestinal inflammation. We also provide an update on the development of PHD inhibitors and discuss their therapeutic potential in IBD.