Altered expression of alpha E beta 7 integrin on intra-epithelial and lamina propria lymphocytes in patients with Crohn's disease

Acta Gastroenterol Belg. Jul-Sep 1998;61(3):288-94.


Objective: To compare the expression of adhesion molecules on intestinal intra-epithelial (IEL) and lamina propria T cells (LPL) from ileum and colon, in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) versus healthy controls, with special reference for the alpha E beta 7 integrin.

Methods: IEL and LPL were obtained from 18 CD patients and 20 controls by enzymatic extraction, and subsequently characterized by flow cytometry for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD25, LFA-1 alpha (CD11a), CD44, alpha 4 and alpha E beta 7 integrin.

Results: In LPL of controls, a decreased CD4/CD8 ratio was noted in ileum compared to colon. This regional difference was accompanied by a higher expression of alpha E beta 7 integrin in ileum versus colon. In LPL from left hemicolon of CD patients, a decreased CD4/CD8 ratio was noted versus controls. alpha E beta 7 expression on T cells of LPL did not discriminate CD from controls. However, an overexpression of this beta 7 integrin member was observed on CD25+ T cell subsets from lamina propria of left hemicolon, in CD versus controls. Moreover, in IEL, profound alterations in alpha E beta 7 integrin were observed in CD, compared to controls. A decreased expression of alpha E beta 7 was noted in IEL of ileum of CD patients. This was also apparent in non-inflamed mucosa.

Conclusion: The observed changes of alpha E beta 7 integrin expression in CD patients versus controls are of pathogenic relevance, especially the decreased expression of alpha E beta 7 in IEL of non-inflamed CD mucosa. This may be one of the earliest events in the pathogenesis of this disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / analysis*
  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colon / cytology
  • Colon / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Ileum / cytology
  • Ileum / immunology
  • Integrin beta Chains*
  • Integrins / analysis*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • T-Lymphocytes / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Integrin beta Chains
  • Integrins
  • integrin beta7