A team of researchers led by biomedical scientist Declan F. McCole at the University of California, Riverside, has found that the drug tofacitinib, also called Xeljanz and approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, can repair permeability defects in the intestine.
“Our work could help improve identification of patients who will be better responders to this drug,” said McCole, a professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine.
Study results appear in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis.
Affecting roughly 1 million Americans, ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, is a chronic disease of the large intestine, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and leaky.
A single layer of cells that plays a critical role in human health, the intestinal epithelium provides a barrier while also allowing nutrient and water absorption. Intestinal epithelial cells are critical for regulating immune function, communicating with