Mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease for investigating mucosal immunity in the intestine

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Purpose of review

Currently several mouse models are considered representative of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This review presents recent developments regarding the role of animal models of intestinal inflammation as research tools in IBD.

Recent findings

Preclinical studies in animal models of intestinal inflammation have generated novel findings in several areas of IBD research. The combination of chemical and genetically engineered models have revealed protective or harmful roles for various components of the innate immune system in response to acute injury and repair mechanisms for the intestinal mucosa. Advances in the use of endoscopic and radiologic techniques have allowed identification of inflammatory biomarkers and in-vivo monitoring of cell trafficking towards inflammatory sites. Translational research has shed light on pathogenic mechanisms through which recent biological treatments may exert their beneficial effects in patients with IBD. Finally, novel therapies are continuously tested in animal models of IBD as part of preclinical drug development programs.


Animal models of intestinal inflammation continue to be important research tools with high significance for understanding the pathogenesis of IBD and exploring novel therapeutic options. Development of additional experimental models that address existing limitations, and more closely resemble the characteristics of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are greatly needed.

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