TheTNF∆ARE Model of Crohn’s Disease-like Ileitis

Amira Metwaly, Dirk Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Crohn’s disease (CD) is one of the 2 main phenotypes of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs); CD ischaracterized by a discontinuous, spontaneously recurring, transmural immunopathology that largely affects the terminal ileum. Crohn’s disease exhibits both a relapsing and progressive course, and its prevalence is on the rise globally, mirroring the trends of industrialization. While the precise pathogenesis of CD remains unknown, various factors including immune cell dysregulation, microbial dysbiosis, genetic susceptibility, and environmental factors have been implicated in disease etiology. Animal models, particularly ileitis mouse models, have provided valuable tools for studying the specific mechanisms underlying CD, allowing longitudinal assessment and sampling in interventional preclinical studies. Furthermore, animal models assess to evaluate the distinct role that bacterial and dietary antigens play in causing inflammation, using germ-free animals, involving the introduction of individual bacteria (monoassociation studies), and experimenting with well-defined dietary components. An ideal animal model for studying IBD, specifically CD, should exhibit an inherent intestinal condition that arises spontaneously and closely mimics the distinct transmural inflammation observed in the human disease, particularly in the terminal ileum. We have recently characterized the impact of disease-relevant, noninfectious microbiota and specific bacteria in a mouse model that replicates CD-like ileitis, capturing the intricate nature of human CD, namely the TNF∆ARE mouse model. Using germ-free mice, we studied the impact of different diets on the expansion of disease-relevant pathobionts and on the severity of inflammation. In this review article, we review some of the currently available ileitis mouse models and discuss in detail the TNF∆ARE model of CD-like Ileitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-145
Number of pages14
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Crohn’s disease
  • TNF mouse model
  • ileitis
  • microbial dysbiosis


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