Altered expression of interferon-γ and interleukin-4 in inflammatory bowel disease

Authors

  • Dr. Luisa Camoglio,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    2. Research Laboratory of Pathology (Dermato-Immune Pathology), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Anje A. Te Velde,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Albert J. Tigges,

    1. Research Laboratory of Pathology (Dermato-Immune Pathology), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Pranab K. Das,

    1. Research Laboratory of Pathology (Dermato-Immune Pathology), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Sander J. H. Van Deventer

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Experimental data indicate that mucosal CD4+ T cells play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Based on the pattern of cytokine production, CD4+ T cells may be distinguished into two different phenotypes. Th1 responses are characterized by secretion of interleukin (IL)-2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, lympho-toxin, and interferon (IFN)-γ and are associated with delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, whereas Th2 responses, which are characterized by secretion of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10, have been associated with humoral immune responses and allergy. To assess the number of IFN-α and IL-4 positive cells in IBD and normal intestinal specimens, frozen sections from intestinal specimens from 10 Crohn's disease (CD), 8 ulcerative colitis (UC), and 8 healthy controls were examined by immunohisto-chemistry. Monoclonal antibodies for CD3, CD8, IFN-γ, and IL-4 were used. T-lymphocyte infiltration and cytokine expression by epithelial, lamina propria, and submucosal cells were scored on a four-point scale by two independent observers who were blinded for the clinical data. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) testing was used for statistical analysis. In intestinal specimens from IBD patients, the number of CD3+ cells was found increased in the lamina propria and, within the submucosa, this increase was significant (p < 0.001). In CD the number of lamina propria IFN-γ positive cells was significantly increased as compared with controls (p < 0.002). In UC the number of both IFN-γ and IL-4 producing cells in the lamina propria was not significantly increased as compared with controls. The present results confirm the existence of a Th1-biased pattern production in CD but not in UC.

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