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      Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Pathogenesis

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          Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are complex, multifactorial disorders characterized by chronic relapsing intestinal inflammation. Although etiology remains largely unknown, recent research has suggested that genetic factors, environment, microbiota, and immune response are involved in the pathogenesis. Epidemiological evidence for a genetic contribution is defined: 15% of patients with Crohn’s Disease (CD) have an affected family member with IBD, and twin studies for CD have shown 50% concordance in monozygotic twins compared to <10% in dizygotics. The most recent and largest genetic association studies, which employed genome-wide association data for over 75,000 patients and controls, identified 163 susceptibility loci for IBD. More recently, a trans-ethnic analysis, including over 20,000 individuals, identified an additional 38 new IBD loci. Although most cases are correlated with polygenic contribution toward genetic susceptibility, there is a spectrum of rare genetic disorders that can contribute to early-onset IBD (before 5 years) or very early onset IBD (before 2 years). Genetic variants that cause these disorders have a wide effect on gene function. These variants are so rare in allele frequency that the genetic signals are not detected in genome-wide association studies of patients with IBD. With recent advances in sequencing techniques, ~50 genetic disorders have been identified and associated with IBD-like immunopathology. Monogenic defects have been found to alter intestinal immune homeostasis through many mechanisms. Candidate gene resequencing should be carried out in early-onset patients in clinical practice. The evidence that genetic factors contribute in small part to disease pathogenesis confirms the important role of microbial and environmental factors. Epigenetic factors can mediate interactions between environment and genome. Epigenetic mechanisms could affect development and progression of IBD. Epigenomics is an emerging field, and future studies could provide new insight into the pathogenesis of IBD.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Association analyses identify 38 susceptibility loci for inflammatory bowel disease and highlight shared genetic risk across populations.

          Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Here we report the first trans-ancestry association study of IBD, with genome-wide or Immunochip genotype data from an extended cohort of 86,640 European individuals and Immunochip data from 9,846 individuals of East Asian, Indian or Iranian descent. We implicate 38 loci in IBD risk for the first time. For the majority of the IBD risk loci, the direction and magnitude of effect are consistent in European and non-European cohorts. Nevertheless, we observe genetic heterogeneity between divergent populations at several established risk loci driven by differences in allele frequency (NOD2) or effect size (TNFSF15 and ATG16L1) or a combination of these factors (IL23R and IRGM). Our results provide biological insights into the pathogenesis of IBD and demonstrate the usefulness of trans-ancestry association studies for mapping loci associated with complex diseases and understanding genetic architecture across diverse populations.
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            Crohn's disease.

            Crohn's disease is a relapsing systemic inflammatory disease, mainly affecting the gastrointestinal tract with extraintestinal manifestations and associated immune disorders. Genome wide association studies identified susceptibility loci that--triggered by environmental factors--result in a disturbed innate (ie, disturbed intestinal barrier, Paneth cell dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum stress, defective unfolded protein response and autophagy, impaired recognition of microbes by pattern recognition receptors, such as nucleotide binding domain and Toll like receptors on dendritic cells and macrophages) and adaptive (ie, imbalance of effector and regulatory T cells and cytokines, migration and retention of leukocytes) immune response towards a diminished diversity of commensal microbiota. We discuss the epidemiology, immunobiology, amd natural history of Crohn's disease; describe new treatment goals and risk stratification of patients; and provide an evidence based rational approach to diagnosis (ie, work-up algorithm, new imaging methods [ie, enhanced endoscopy, ultrasound, MRI and CT] and biomarkers), management, evolving therapeutic targets (ie, integrins, chemokine receptors, cell-based and stem-cell-based therapies), prevention, and surveillance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              NOD2 stimulation induces autophagy in dendritic cells influencing bacterial handling and antigen presentation.

              Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing-2 (NOD2) acts as a bacterial sensor in dendritic cells (DCs), but it is not clear how bacterial recognition links with antigen presentation after NOD2 stimulation. NOD2 variants are associated with Crohn's disease, where breakdown in self-recognition of commensal bacteria leads to gastrointestinal inflammation. Here we show NOD2 triggering by muramyldipeptide induces autophagy in DCs. This effect requires receptor-interacting serine-threonine kinase-2 (RIPK-2), autophagy-related protein-5 (ATG5), ATG7 and ATG16L1 but not NLR family, pyrin domain containing-3 (NALP3).We show that NOD2-mediated autophagy is required for both bacterial handling and generation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell responses in DCs. DCs from individuals with Crohn's disease expressing Crohn's disease-associated NOD2 or ATG16L1 risk variants are defective in autophagy induction, bacterial trafficking and antigen presentation. Our findings link two Crohn's disease-associated susceptibility genes in a single functional pathway and reveal defects in this pathway in Crohn's disease DCs that could lead to bacterial persistence via impaired lysosomal destruction and immune mediated clearance.

                Author and article information

                Front Immunol
                Front Immunol
                Front. Immunol.
                Frontiers in Immunology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                02 November 2015
                : 6
                1Inflammatory Bowel Disease Unit, Pediatric Department, University of Messina , Messina, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Amélia M. Sarmento, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Portugal

                Reviewed by: J. Rodrigo Mora, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, USA; François-Pierre Martin, Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, Switzerland

                *Correspondence: Italia Loddo, italia.loddo@

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Mucosal Immunity, a section of the journal Frontiers in Immunology

                Copyright © 2015 Loddo and Romano.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 27, Pages: 6, Words: 4522
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                early-onset ibd, crohn’s disease, ibd, epigenetics, genetics, inflammatory bowel disease


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