LPS-Stimulated Whole Blood Cytokine Production Is Not Related to Disease Behavior in Patients with Quiescent Crohn's Disease
SourcePLoS One, 10, 7, (2015), article e0133932
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
INTRODUCTION: Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disease in which cytokines play a pivotal role in the induction and maintenance of inflammation. Innate cytokine production is genetically determined and varies largely between individuals; this might impact the severity of inflammation. We aimed to assess whether ex-vivo endotoxin-stimulated levels of cytokines could be associated with disease phenotype. METHODS: Patients with quiescent CD (Harvey-Bradshaw Index </= 4 and negative inflammation markers) who were not using immunomodulating drugs or biologicals were eligible. Historical disease characteristics (localization, behavior, number of bowel resections, drug history, extra-intestinal symptoms) were extracted from medical records. We measured cytokine levels (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and IL-10) in supernatants of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) -stimulated whole blood cultures and correlated these with disease characteristics and age- and sex-matched healthy controls. In addition, we analyzed whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter region of the TNF-alpha gene were related to TNF-alpha levels. RESULTS: We included 75 patients with CD and 24 healthy controls. Six patients were excluded because of increased inflammation markers resulting in a total of 69 patients. The mean age (SD) of patients with CD was 51.2 (12.3) years with a mean (SD) disease duration of 24.1 (11.5) years. Disease localization, peri-anal involvement and behavior were not related to LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 or IL-10 levels. In addition, combination of localization with behavior to differentiate mild from severe disease type showed no significant differences. TNF-alpha levels were higher in patients with CD (428 pg/ml IQR [267-468]) compared to healthy controls (459 pg/ml IQR [364-570], p=0.02). We found no associations between SNPs in the promoter region and TNF-alpha levels. CONCLUSION: In this study, innate cytokine production of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-10 was not related to historical disease characteristics or disease severity in patients with quiescent CD. These findings suggest that genetically determined levels of these cytokines obtained from LPS-stimulated whole blood cultures are not linked with disease behavior or severity.
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