Role of Leukotrienes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are characterized by severe mucosal inflammation and mucosal ulceration. As the initiating event of both diseases is not known the aim of drug treatment is to prevent the amplification and/or maintenance of the inflammatory reaction. Development of effective drugs is hampered by the fact that it is not known which chemical mediator/s are responsible for the mucosal inflammation in these patients. Various agents including peptides, vasoactive amines and lipid-derived mediators have been found to elicit the typical reactions found at sites of inflammation such as vasodilation, plasma leakage, activation of inflammatory cells or tissue damage. During an inflammatory event increased formation of several pro-inflammatory agents occurs which may act in concert. Experimental and clinical work is necessary to establish whether inhibition of biosynthesis or action of a certain pro-inflammatory mediator does indeed prevent or reduce symptoms in a given inflammatory disorder.
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