PerspectiveDevelopmental Biology

Intestinal Wound Healing Requires a Wnt Balancing Act

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Science  05 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6103, pp. 51-52
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229414

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses a group of disorders of the colon and small intestine including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It affects roughly 396 per 100,000 persons worldwide (1) and in the United States is responsible for more than $1.7 billion in overall health care costs. The chronic or recurrent inflammation associated with this disease causes severe damage to the epithelial lining of the intestine. On page 108 of this issue, Miyoshi et al. (2) present a model for wound healing in the intestinal tract that may have clinical relevance to mucosal repair in disorders of intestinal ulceration.