Aims: Laminin and collagen IV have been proposed as extracellular matrix serum markers. Because fibrosis is a major complication of inflammatory bowel disease, serum concentrations of laminin and collagen IV were measured in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) and compared with inflammatory and healthy controls.
Methods: Laminin and collagen IV serum concentrations were measured in 170 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (86 UC and 84 CD), in 23 patients with other causes of intestinal inflammation, and in 80 matched healthy controls using commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. Laminin and collagen IV concentrations were correlated with disease activity, type, localisation, and treatment.
Results: Mean (SD) serum laminin concentrations were 281.0 (110.1) ng/ml in patients with UC, 275.6 (106.7) ng/ml in patients with CD, 192.0 (17.8) ng/ml in healthy controls, and 198.5 (32.5) ng/ml in inflammatory controls. Mean (SD) serum collagen IV concentrations were 72.8 (22.9) ng/ml in patients with UC, 71.0 (18.2) in patients with CD, 79.8 (12.2) ng/ml in healthy controls, and 88.9 (24.6) ng/ml in inflammatory controls. There was a significant difference among the four groups (p < 0.0001) for both markers. There was a strong correlation between serum laminin, but not collagen IV, and disease activity in both diseases. No significant association was found between these markers and disease localisation or disease type.
Conclusions: Serum concentrations of laminin are increased, whereas serum concentrations of collagen IV are decreased, in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. They may be useful surrogate markers for sustained inflammation and tissue remodelling.