, Volume 58, Issue 7, pp 1827-1829
Date: 08 Jun 2013

Intestinal Permeability Barrier in Crohn’s Disease: The Difficulty in Shifting the Paradigm

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Dr. Daniel Hollander

Crohn’s disease has become a relatively common inflammatory disease of the intestine. The etiology of the disease is unknown despite a great deal of research by many talented investigators. During most of the twentieth century, the search for Crohn’s etiology focused mostly on immunological abnormalities. This dominant paradigm hindered the approval of research proposals or manuscripts dealing with other, non-immunological etiological factors or mechanisms.

In the early 1980s my research centered on the intestinal transport of lipid compounds, in general, and fat-soluble vitamins in particular [1]. Simultaneously, I was caring for increasing numbers of patients with Crohn’s disease and felt frustrated by the dearth of basic understanding of the etiology of Crohn’s disease and the paucity of available therapeutic approaches. It was known that the disease had a heritable component since it had a clear familial clustering, but the specific genetic abnormalities or predi ...