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Immune cell trafficking and retention in inflammatory bowel disease: mechanistic insights and therapeutic advances


Intestinal immune cell trafficking has been identified as a central event in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Intensive research on different aspects of the immune mechanisms controlling and controlled by T cell trafficking and retention has led to the approval of the anti-α4β7 antibody vedolizumab, the ongoing development of a number of further anti-trafficking agents (ATAs) such as the anti-β7 antibody etrolizumab or the anti-MAdCAM-1 antibody ontamalimab and the identification of potential future targets like G-protein coupled receptor 15. However, several aspects of the biology of immune cell trafficking and regarding the mechanism of action of ATAs are still unclear, for example, which impact these compounds have on the trafficking of non-lymphocyte populations like monocytes and how precisely these therapies differ with regard to their effect on immune cell subpopulations. This review will summarise recent advances of basic science in the field of intestinal immune cell trafficking and discuss these findings with regard to different pharmacological approaches from a translational perspective.

  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • cell adhesion
  • integrins
  • inflammatory bowel disease

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