Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a relapsing inflammatory bowel disease whose pathogenesis has yet to be defined completely. A genetic predisposition is needed to develop the colitis, but environmental factors are necessary to trigger an exaggerated and aberrant immune response, which stands at the basis of the mucosal healing. Cytokines, small cell-signaling protein molecules secreted by various types of cells including immune and glia cells, are the main mediators of the mucosal healing in IBD; ulcerative colitis is characterized by a Th2 atypical immune response, since, beside the classical proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α, in the pathogenesis of UC, we find a complex network in which the Th2 cytokines, IL-10 and IL-13, play a key role, but little IL-4 was found. Our aim was to review the literature to point out the state of the art in terms of cytokines because the knowledge of cytokine network in UC could lead to the discovery of new therapeutical targets.
Roda, G., Marocchi, M., Sartini, A., & Roda, E. (2011). Cytokine Networks in Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcers, 2011, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/391787