Gut inflammation occurring in patients with IBDs (inflammatory bowel diseases) is associated with exaggerated and poorly controlled T-cell-mediated immune responses, which are directed against normal components of the gut flora. T-cells accumulate in the inflamed gut of IBD patients as a result of multiple mechanisms, including enhanced recruitment of cells from the bloodstream, sustained cell cycling and diminished susceptibility of cells to undergo apoptosis. Activated T-cells produce huge amounts of cytokines, which contribute to amplify and sustain the ongoing mucosal inflammation. Strategies aimed at interfering with T-cell accumulation and/or function in the gut have been employed with clinical success in patients with IBDs. In the present article, we review the available results showing that T-cell-directed therapies are useful to dampen the tissue-damaging immune response in IBDs.

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