Mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule-1 (MAdCAM-1) is an adhesion protein expressed on endothelium in mucosal tissues that has been shown to play an important role in the selective homing of lymphocytes to intestinal mucosa and associated lymphoid tissue. To determine whether MAdCAM-1 or its ligand alpha 4 beta 7 would be appropriate targets for therapeutic intervention in gut-associated inflammation, we tested the ability of rat mAbs specific for beta 7 integrin and MAdCAM-1 to inhibit chronic colonic inflammation in scid mice reconstituted with CD4+ T cells enriched for the CD45RBhigh subpopulation. Abs specific for beta 7 and MAdCAM-1 blocked recruitment of lymphocytes to the colitic colon, and more importantly, these Abs significantly reduced the severity of colonic inflammatory disease in this animal model. Therefore, the adhesive interactions mediated by alpha 4 beta 7 and MAdCAM are intimately involved in leukocyte recruitment to gut in chronic inflammatory disease and may be relevant therapeutic targets for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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