Circular and Circulating DNA in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: From Pathogenesis to Potential Molecular Therapies

Cells. 2023 Jul 27;12(15):1953. doi: 10.3390/cells12151953.


Federica Di Vincenzo 1 2Ylenia Yadid 2Valentina Petito 1Valeria Emoli 2Letizia Masi 1Daniela Gerovska 3Marcos Jesus Araúzo-Bravo 3 4 5Antonio Gasbarrini 1 2Birgitte Regenberg 6Franco Scaldaferri 1 2


Author information

1IBD Unit, Centro di Malattie dell'Apparato Digerente (CeMAD), Medicina Interna e Gastroenterologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli" IRCCS, 00168 Rome, Italy.

2Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia Traslazionale, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Italy.

3Computational Biology and Systems Biomedicine, Biodonostia Health Research Institute, Calle Doctor Begiristain s/n, 20014 San Sebastian, Spain.

4IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Calle María Díaz Harokoa 3, 48013 Bilbao, Spain.

5Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48940 Leioa, Spain.

6Section for Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 13, Room 426, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) are chronic multifactorial disorders which affect the gastrointestinal tract with variable extent. Despite extensive research, their etiology and exact pathogenesis are still unknown. Cell-free DNAs (cfDNAs) are defined as any DNA fragments which are free from the origin cell and able to circulate into the bloodstream with or without microvescicles. CfDNAs are now being increasingly studied in different human diseases, like cancer or inflammatory diseases. However, to date it is unclear how IBD etiology is linked to cfDNAs in plasma. Extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) are non-plasmidic, nuclear, circular and closed DNA molecules found in all eukaryotes tested. CfDNAs appear to play an important role in autoimmune diseases, inflammatory processes, and cancer; recently, interest has also grown in IBD, and their role in the pathogenesis of IBD has been suggested. We now suggest that eccDNAs also play a role in IBD. In this review, we have comprehensively collected available knowledge in literature regarding cfDNA, eccDNA, and structures involving them such as neutrophil extracellular traps and exosomes, and their role in IBD. Finally, we focused on old and novel potential molecular therapies and drug delivery systems, such as nanoparticles, for IBD treatment.

© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.