Evidence of interactions between the enteric nervous system, neuropeptides, and the immune system is growing. The aim of this study was to examine basal plasma levels of a variety of peptide precursors in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In two middle-aged cohorts, Malmö Preventive Medicine (n = 5,415) and Malmö Diet and Cost Study (n = 6,103), individuals with the diagnosis of IBD were identified. Medical records were scrutinized. Three controls were matched for each patient. Copeptin, midregional fragments of adrenomedullin, pro-atrial natriuretic peptide, and proenkephalin A, as well as N-terminal protachykinin A and proneurotensin were analyzed in the plasma. Sixty-two IBD patients were identified. The only difference between patients and controls was higher copeptin levels in the patients compared with controls (P = 0.006), with higher copeptin levels in resected than unresected patients (P = 0.020). There was no difference in any precursor levels between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, between different distributions of disease lesions, or between different treatments.
Keywords: copeptin; inflammatory bowel disease; irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms; neuropeptides; precursors.