The gastrointestinal tract is characterized by a rapid proliferation of stem cells that differentiate to become terminal mature cells and ultimately die through a genetically programmed form of cell death, termed apoptosis, which is responsible for maintaining of tissue size. Apoptosis has also been shown to play an important role in the pathophysiology of several gastrointestinal diseases, which, by consequence, can be divided in two groups: those triggered by an increased apoptosis, like acute or chronic infective/inflammatory diseases, and those triggered by a decreased apoptosis, like malignancies. Elucidation of the biochemical pathways and of specific proteins regulating apoptosis may provide a remarkable opportunity to manipulate the life and death decisions of the gastrointestinal cells and to develop new therapeutic strategies. This review will deal with some pathological conditions either immune-mediated, such as gastritis, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or neoplastic, which have a great social relevance in the western countries.
|Translated title of the contribution||Apoptosis and gastrointestinal disease|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||EOS Rivista di Immunologia ed Immunofarmacologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas