The discovery of nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2/caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 15 (NOD2/CARD15) as the first susceptibility gene in Crohn's disease (CD) has shifted the focus of research into the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) firmly to the innate immune response and the integrity of the epithelial barrier. The subsequent implication in IBD of variant alleles of OCTN, DLG5, MDR1, and TLRs has provided further support for a new, more complex model of innate immunity function in the gastrointestinal tract. In this review, we examine the recent advances in our understanding of the influence of genetics of the innate immune response on IBD. We will focus on germline variation of genes encoding pathogen-recognition receptors, proteins involved in epithelial homeostasis and secreted antimicrobial proteins.
(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007)