Background: The CC-chemokines eotaxin and eotaxin-2, produced by epithelial and phagocytic cells, are potent and selective chemoattractants for eosinophils and basophils. The eosinophil is a potent inflammatory cell thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this study we investigated the serum concentrations of eotaxin and eotaxin-2 in patients with Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with Crohn disease, 35 patients with ulcerative colitis and 41 control patients were studied. Eotaxin and eotaxin-2 serum levels were measured with solid phase sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Results: Significantly increased serum eotaxin levels were observed in both patients with Crohn disease (289.4+/-591.5 pg/ml) and ulcerative colitis (207.0+/-243.4 pg/ml) when compared with controls (138.0+/-107.8 pg/ml) (P < 0.01). Moreover, patients with active Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis showed significantly higher serum eotaxin levels than patients with quiescent disease (434.0+/-776.8 pg/ml versus 113.8+/-65.4 pg/ml in Crohn disease and 295.7+/-337.1 versus 121.2+/-91.9 pg/ml in ulcerative colitis, P < 0.05). In contrast, there was no significant difference in eotaxin-2 serum levels among patients with Crohn disease (863.5+/-448.2 pg/ml), ulcerative colitis (1028.3+/-431.4 pg/ml) and controls (981.4+/-539.4 pg/ml).
Conclusions: Eotaxin is significantly increased in serum of patients with active Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, suggesting that this cytokine may play a role in the pathogenesis of IBD.