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BACKGROUND Proinflammatory cytokines, especially tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of cancer cachexia. Thalidomide, which is an inhibitor of TNF-alpha synthesis, may represent a novel and rational approach to the treatment of cancer cachexia. AIMS To assess the safety and efficacy of thalidomide in(More)
Cancer cachexia is a severe debilitating disorder for which there are currently few therapeutic options. It is driven by the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cachectic factors by both host and tumour. Over the past few years, basic science advances have begun to reveal the breadth and complexity of the immunological mechanisms involved, and in the(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS Infliximab induces immune cell apoptosis by outside-to-inside signaling through transmembrane tumor necrosis factor-alpha (mTNF). However, in inflamed gut, myofibroblasts also produce TNF-alpha, and the affects of anti-TNF antibodies on these structural cells are unknown. We investigated the action of infliximab on apoptosis, the(More)
BACKGROUND In both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) there is a marked increase in mucosal IgG plasma cells (PC), although their precise role is not well established. In this study we isolated gut PCs from patients with IBD and normal controls and analyzed cytokine production, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 and tissue inhibitor of(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS The mechanism by which anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha therapy promotes rapid closure of fistulas and mucosal wound healing in Crohn's disease (CD) remains unclear. An ex-vivo model of gut T-cell mediated injury indicated that TNF-alpha blockade prevents tissue damage concomitant with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibition. We,(More)
PURPOSE OF REVIEW Inflammatory bowel disease is driven by an excessive immune response in the gut wall. This review summarises important new developments in understanding this immune response and the downstream mechanisms of intestinal injury, alongside their potential role in opening up new avenues of treatment. RECENT FINDINGS The evidence continues to(More)
Forty years on from its worldwide withdrawal, thalidomide is currently undergoing a remarkable renaissance as a novel and powerful immunomodulatory agent. Over the last decade it has been found to be active in a wide variety of inflammatory and malignant disorders where conventional therapies have failed. Recently, considerable progress has been made in(More)
BACKGROUND Thalidomide, one of whose activities is to inhibit Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α production, has been reported to be an effective treatment for refractory inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). TNF-α driven production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 by gut lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMCs) is a major pathway of tissue injury in IBD;(More)
Revision of Ab L chains by secondary rearrangement in mature B cells has the potential to change the specific target of the immune response. In this study, we show for the first time that L chain revision is normal and widespread in the largest Ab producing population in man: intestinal IgA plasma cells (PC). Biases in the productive and non-productive(More)
We have identified a large population of CD3(-)7(+) cells in human fetal gut. Three- and four-color flow cytometry revealed a distinct surface Ag profile on this population; the majority were negative for CD4 and CD8, whereas most of the remainder expressed the CD8alphaalpha homodimer. In contrast about half of CD3(+) cells expressed CD4 and half expressed(More)