Cell and Stem-Cell Therapies of Crohn’s Disease and Complications

  • Luca Pierelli
  • Sergio Rutella
  • Giuseppina Bonanno
Part of the Updates in Surgery book series (UPDATESSURG)


Crohn’s disease (CD) is an inflammatory acquired pathological process of the small intestine that occurs in adult men and women, with an annual incidence of about 7 new cases in a population of 100,000 [1, 2]. This disease has a significant prevalence in adults between the second and fourth decades of life. It is three times more common in individuals of Jewish ancestry and least common in blacks. Up to 5% of those with CD have one or more affected relatives. Despite the partially documented familial pattern of this disease, a pattern of Mendelian inheritance has not been identified. A slightly higher prevalence of CD has been observed in women. The etiology of CD is unknown but recent advances in our knowledge of the cellular mechanisms that sustain gut mucosal inflammation indicate that these patients suffer from an abnormal immune response to intraluminal microbial flora and/or other potential immunogens present in the intestinal mucosa [1, 3]. For several years, researchers have reported an increased activity of type 1 helper T cells (TH1), which secrete relevant amounts of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-2, as a key starting point in both chronic immune activation and secondary, persistent, mucosal inflammation. Recent experimental evidence suggests that CD is also sustained by a defective innate immune response to luminal microbial species. Specifically, the NOD2/CARD15 pathway, in which muramy dipeptides of the bacterial cell wall are recognized by leukocytes, with subsequent activation of the transcription factor NF-ϰB and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion, could be impaired in CD [4].


Treg Cell Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation Graft Versus Host Disease Human Inflammatory Bowel Disease Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Pierelli
    • 1
  • Sergio Rutella
    • 2
  • Giuseppina Bonanno
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Blood Transfusion and Cell TherapySan Camillo-Forlanini HospitalRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of HematologyCatholic University Medical School and IRCCS San Raffaele PisanaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsCatholic University Medical SchoolRomeItaly

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