Experimental animal models, particularly the newer mouse models, have convincingly demonstrated that CD+ T cells play a central role in chronic intestinal inflammation. Such CD4+ effector T cells are induced by the bacterial flora. In at least one model, it is conventional protein antigens that are stimulating these pathogenic T cells. The antigens driving disease seem to be a selective subset of immunodominant proteins, likely derived from a subset of organisms. Multiple genes contribute to colitis susceptibility and a number of these genes are being localized.