Medical researchers have made considerable efforts to establish a genetic linkage between Crohn's disease and the NOD2 protein associated with programmed cell death and activation of NF- B, a transcription factor involved in the production of cytokines and chemokines necessary for inflammation.
Regulation of NF- B function has been documented by several agents used in the management of IBD, such as corticosteroids, sulfasalazine, and 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASA). Furthermore, antisense oligonucleotides directed against the p65 subunit (a polypeptide contributing to the activation of NF- B) have been shown to diminish disease activity in an animal model of colitis. Recent work has shown that dietary constituents such as curcumin may also potently inhibit NF- B and diminish attenuate proinflammatory molecule expression. Curcumin is a component of the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa) used in curries and mustard, whose anti-inflammatory properties have been recognized for years. These effects are related, in part, to inhibition of the activities of the cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase, and NF- B in several cell systems. Furthermore, its role in the attenuation of colonic cancer in animal models has also been established.
Management of IBD involves the use of 5-ASA and immunosuppressives such as corticosteroids and 6-mercaptopurine as well as its precursor azathioprine. Novel agents such as monoclonal antibodies against TNF- have been developed and demonstrate clinical efficacy. How
Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society