Indexed on: 04 Jul '02Published on: 04 Jul '02Published in: American Journal of Gastroenterology
Eotaxin is a recently characterized chemokine with potent and selective chemotactic activity for eosinophils. Previous studies indicating that eosinophils accumulate and become activated in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) led us to hypothesize that eotaxin is potentially involved in the pathophysiology of IBD and, therefore, that eotaxin would be increased in the serum of patients with IBD. The objective of this study was to test those assumptions.We investigated 72 patients with IBD, 35 with ulcerative colitis, and 37 with Crohn's disease. A total of 27 patients had active and 45 inactive disease; 26 were receiving corticosteroids. Eotaxin serum levels were determined by solid phase sandwich ELISA. Lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocyte subpopulations were determined in fresh blood samples with an automated autoanalyzer.Serum eotaxin levels were significantly higher in patients with Crohn's disease and in those with ulcerative colitis than in the control subjects (p < 0.0001). Patients with inactive Crohn's disease had significantly higher levels of eotaxin than patients with inactive ulcerative colitis (p < 0.05). We did not find significant differences for activity or inactivity of disease, nor for treatment with prednisone. A negative correlation (p < 0.05) was found between eotaxin serum level and eosinophil counts in peripheral blood in patients with Crohn's disease.There is an increased expression of eotaxin in IBD patients, suggesting that eotaxin may be involved in the pathogenesis of IBD. This increase is more accentuated in Crohn's disease and negatively correlates with the eosinophil number in peripheral blood. Our data support the increasing evidence that eosinophil are functionally involved in the pathophysiology of IBD.