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Free Content Cytokine gene expression in intestinal tuberculosis and Crohn's disease

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BACKGROUND: Intestinal tuberculosis (TB) and Crohn's disease closely resemble each other clinically and morphologically. Little is known of cytokine regulation in intestinal TB.

OBJECTIVE: To compare cytokine gene expression in colonic mucosa and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in TB with that in Crohn's disease.

METHODS: Biopsies were obtained from normal and ulcerated colonic mucosa of 12 intestinal TB and 11 Crohn's disease patients, and PBMC from 15 intestinal TB and 12 Crohn's disease patients and 11 healthy volunteers. RNA was extracted, and the expression of selected cytokines, chemokines and pattern recognition receptors quantified by reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction using SYBR green.

RESULTS: The mRNA expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), induced protein-10, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, IL-23 p19 and IL-12 p40, and Toll-like receptors (TLR) 1 and 2 in the ulcerated mucosa was increased in both intestinal TB and Crohn's disease. Expression of growth-related oncogene-alpha was increased in intestinal TB, while expression of interferon-gamma (IFN-) and TLR 4, 5 and 9 was increased in Crohn's disease. Expression of RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted) was decreased in Crohn's disease. Secretion of IFN- or IL-10 from PBMC was not significantly altered in either disease. PBMC mRNA expression of IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA was upregulated in Crohn's disease, while that of IL-17 was upregulated in intestinal TB.

CONCLUSIONS: Cytokine gene expression patterns in intestinal mucosa and PBMC of intestinal TB were remarkably similar to Crohn's disease, and demonstrated innate immune activation and T-helper 1 polarisation.

Keywords: IL-23; T-helper 1; T-helper 17; inflammatory bowel disease; innate immunity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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