• constipation;
  • functional bowel disorders;
  • hemofiltrate CC chemokine 4;
  • inflammation;
  • liver-expressed chemokine


Background  Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a serious health problem that affects an estimated 10–15% of people worldwide and has economic consequences in the United States of over $30 billion annually. In the US, IBS affects all races and both sexes, with more females than males (2 : 1) reporting symptoms consistent with IBS. Although the etiology of this functional gastrointestinal disorder is unknown, literature suggests that a subclinical inflammatory component has a role in the etiologic mechanisms underlying IBS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the gene expression of inflammatory biomarkers in patients with and without IBS and among different IBS phenotypes.

Methods  Irritable bowel syndrome patients (n = 12) that met Rome III Criteria for IBS longer than 6 months were compared with healthy matched controls (n = 12). Peripheral whole blood from fasting participants was collected and RNA was extracted. The expression of 96 inflammatory genes was then analyzed using a custom quantitative real-time PCR array.

Key Results  CCL-16 gene expression was upregulated by 7.46-fold in IBS patients when compared with controls. CCL-16 was overexpressed by over 130-fold in IBS-constipation patients when compared with both controls and IBS-diarrhea patients.

Conclusions & Inferences  These results further suggest a subclinical inflammatory component underlying IBS. To better understand the phenotypic differences in IBS it is important to broaden the study of these inflammatory and other biomarkers.