Despite the advent of an age when "malignant" leukemia is cured by bone marrow transplantation, "benign" inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are still intractable life-long diseases. Why is it that once an IBD develops it lasts a long time? We propose that, the same as in the response to vaccination, immune memory T cells that remember the disease are formed in IBDs and, perceiving them as "benign T-cell leukemia"-like lifelong pathology that hematogenously spreads throughout the body, we here propose that the bone marrow itself, which produces large amounts of the survival factor IL-7, is the reservoir for colitogenic CD4+ memory T cells responsible for the intractability of IBDs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy