Abstract

Introduction: Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling of the intestinal tissue is important in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) due to the extensive mucosal remodeling. There are still gaps in our knowledge as to how ECM remodeling is related to intestinal epithelium homeostasis and healing of the intestinal mucosa.Areas covered: The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of the ECM in relation to the pathogenesis of IBD, while addressing basement membrane and interstitial matrix remodeling, and the processes of wound healing of the intestinal tissue in IBD.Expert opinion: In IBD, basement membrane remodeling may reflect the integrity of the intestinal epithelial-cell homeostasis. The interstitial matrix remodeling is associated with deep inflammation such as the transmural inflammation as seen in fistulas and intestinal fibrosis leading to fibrostenotic strictures, in patients with CD. The interplay between wound healing processes and ECM remodeling also affects the tissue homeostasis in IBD. The interstitial matrix, produced by fibroblasts, holds a very different biology as compared to the epithelial basement membrane in IBD. In combination with integration of wound healing, quantifying the interplay between damage and repair to these sub compartments may provide essential information in IBD patient profiling, mucosal healing and disease management.

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