Advances in therapeutic interventions targeting the vascular and lymphatic endothelium in inflammatory bowel disease

Silvia D'Alessio, Carlotta Tacconi, Claudio Fiocchi, Silvio Danese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: The review summarizes the current knowledge of the roles played by the vascular and lymphatic endothelium throughout the gut in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gives an update on emerging strategies targeting both vasculatures. Recent Findings: Enormous efforts have been made to understand the mechanisms underlining the origin, development and maintenance of intestinal chronic inflammation. In particular, new studies focused their attention on the role played by the microvascular and lymphatic endothelium in the pathogenesis of IBD. During inflammation, whereas the microvasculature is responsible for the entry and distribution of immune cells in the mucosa, the lymphatic system controls leukocyte exit, bacterial clearance and edema absorption. The study of these events, which are aberrant during chronic inflammation, has resulted in the identification and validation of several targets for the treatment of experimental colitis, some of which have translated into effective treatments for patients with IBD. Summary: Although much attention has been paid to the microvascular endothelium and to antiangiogenic therapies, specific studies on the lymphatic vasculature and its functions in IBD are still at the initial stage, and other molecular mechanisms, genes, molecules and new pathways must definitely be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-613
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Adhesion molecules
  • angiogenesis
  • endothelium
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • lymphangiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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