Published online Jun 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i22.2715
Revised: September 18, 2010
Accepted: September 25, 2010
Published online: June 14, 2011
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) develops in genetically susceptible individuals due to the influence of environmental factors, leading to an abnormal recognition of microbiota antigens by the innate immune system which triggers an exaggerated immune response and subsequent bowel tissue damage. IBD has been more frequently found in families, an observation that could be due to either genetic, environmental or both types of factors present in these families. In addition to expanding our knowledge on IBD pathogenesis, defining the specific contribution to familial IBD of each one of these factors might have also clinical usefulness. We review the available evidence on familial IBD pathogenesis.