Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 21–28 | Cite as

Microbiome and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases

  • Jan Wehkamp
  • Julia-Stefanie Frick


It is nowadays generally accepted that the microbiome is a central driver of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases based on observations from human patients as well as inflammatory rodent models. Many studies focussed on different aspects of microbiota and some scientists believe that a primary dis-balance results in a direct microbial induced inflammatory situation. It is also clear that the microbiome is influenced by environmental and genetic factors and is also tightly regulated by host defense molecules such as antimicrobial peptides (defensins et al.). Different lines of investigations showed different complex antimicrobial barrier defects in inflammatory bowel diseases which also influence the composition of the microbiome and generally impact on the microbial-mucosal interface. In this review, we aim to discuss the bigger picture of these different aspects and current views and conclude about therapeutic consequences for future concepts beyond anti-inflammatory treatment.


Microbiota Antimicrobial peptides Paneth cells Inflammatory bowel diseases LPS Endotoxin 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

JW is part of the board of Defensin therapeutics (Denmark) and involved in drug development. JW is also part of different patent applications concerning defensins and or derivates of antimicrobial host defense molecules.

Grant support

Work by J.S.F was supported by the DFG (DFG FR 2087/6-1, DFG FR 2087/8-1, CRC685, SPP1656) the DFG research training group 1708, the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). JW is supported by DFG (Heisenberg Programm) and European Research council (ERC Defensinactivity).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Clinic IUniversity Hospital TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Microbiology and HygieneUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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