Inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress biomarkers in irritable bowel syndrome: Association with digestive symptoms and quality of life

Cytokine. 2017 May:93:34-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2017.05.005. Epub 2017 May 12.


A growing body of evidence suggests a possible role for low-grade inflammation in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The objectives of this study were to measure serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-17, interleukin (IL)-10, malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in IBS patients and healthy controls (HCs), and to evaluate possible correlations of such markers with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and quality of life (QoL). Ninety Rome III positive IBS patients and 90 sex and age matched HCs were recruited. GI symptoms, IBS-QoL, IBS severity score system (IBSSS), and the serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress biomarkers were evaluated. In IBS patients, TNFα, IL-17 and MDA cytokines were significantly (P<0.05) higher, and IL-10 cytokine and TAC were significantly (P<0.05) lower vs. HCs. When comparing IBS subtypes, TNFα and IL-17 were significantly (P<0.05) higher, and IL-10 was significantly (P<0.05) lower in diarrhea predominant IBS (IBS-D) compared to HCs, whereas the inflammatory cytokine profile of other subtypes more closely resembled that of HCs. The serum levels of MDA and TAC were significantly different (P<0.05) in all the subtypes vs. HCs. All the inflammatory cytokines had significant (P<0.05) correlations with GI symptoms, IBSSS and IBS-QoL, whereas no significant association was found between oxidative stress biomarkers and these symptoms. IBS-D patients display increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreased anti-inflammatory cytokines. Present study demonstrated a correlation between inflammatory cytokines and both IBS symptoms and QoL.

Keywords: Digestive symptoms; Inflammatory cytokines; Irritable bowel syndrome; Oxidative stress biomarkers; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / blood*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators