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Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), is a chronic relapsing condition with inflammation and tissue remodelling of the gastrointestinal tract whose aetiology is still unknown. It has been suggested that IBD may result from a dysregulated response of the intestinal immune system towards intraluminal antigens of bacterial origin leading to the activation and release of several factors resulting in intestinal injury. In addition, currently there is no ultimate cure for IBD patients. Existing therapies may alleviate inflammatory symptoms; however, IBD patients are likely to suffer many relapses over the course of the disease. According to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), approximately 3,000 patients suffering from IBD are admitted to different Irish Hospitals every year for the treatment of this condition or its complications.

Our research uses different animal experimental models and in vitro systems to study IBD. The team's primary research objective is the identification and characterization of different molecular targets involved in IBD. In fact, we have recently identified that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), enzymes that are involved in the remodelling and degradation of extracellular matrix may be among targets to be considered, particularly MMP-9. The secondary research objective is to design new effective therapeutic strategies for IBD, including selective MMP-9 inhibitors. And finally, our research is also focused on novel nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems relevant to the therapy of IBD.

Head of Research Group

Members of the Research Group

TCD collaborations

  • Prof Colm O'Morain, Tallaght University Hospital
  • Prof Padriac Fallon, Institute of Molecular Medicine, TCD

Current Research Projects & Funding

  • Enterprise Ireland

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Selected Publications

Inhibition of LFA-1 mediated T-cell motility by naphthoquinones. Sheridan H, Hook I, Nestor C, Coppins J, Ehrhardt C, Frankish N. Planta Med . 2008 ;74(11):1383-7.

In vitro inhibition of rat basophilic leukaemia mast cell (RBL-2H3) degranulation by novel indane compounds. Passante E, Ehrhardt C, Sheridan H, Frankish N. Inflamm Res. 2008;57 Suppl 1:S15-6.

Synthesis and pharmacological activity of aminoindanone dimers and related compounds. Sheridan H, Butterly S, Walsh JJ, Cogan C, Jordan M, Nolan O, Frankish N. Bioorg Med Chem. 2008;16(1):248-54.

Nanoparticles: pharmacological and toxicological significance. Medina C, Santos-Martinez MJ, Radomski A, Corrigan OI, Radomski MW. Br J Pharmacol. 2007;150(5):552-8.

Adhesion characteristics and stability assessment of lectin-modified liposomes for site-specific drug delivery. Bakowsky H, Richter T, Kneuer C, Hoekstra D, Rothe U, Bendas G, Ehrhardt C, Bakowsky U. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008;1778(1):242-9

Attenuation of dextran sodium sulphate induced colitis in matrix metalloproteinase-9 deficient mice. Santana A, Medina C, Paz-Cabrera MC, Díaz-Gonzalez F, Farré E, Salas A, Radomski MW, Quintero E. World J Gastroenterol. 2006;12(40):6464-72

Role of matrix metalloproteinases in intestinal inflammation. Medina C, Radomski MW. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Sep;318(3):933-8

Matrix metalloproteinase-9 modulates intestinal injury in rats with transmural colitis. Medina C, Santana A, Paz MC, Díaz-Gonzalez F, Farre E, Salas A, Radomski MW, Quintero E. J Leukoc Biol. 2006 May;79(5):954-62

Induction of colonic transmural inflammation by Bacteroides fragilis: implication of matrix metalloproteinases. Medina C, Santana A, Llopis M, Paz-Cabrera MC, Antolín M, Mourelle M, Guarner F, Vilaseca J, Gonzalez C, Salas A, Quintero E, Malagelada JR. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2005 Feb;11(2):99-105.

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