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Mucosal expression of basic fibroblastic growth factor, Syndecan 1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in diverticular disease of the colon: a case–control study


Address for Correspondence
Dr. Antonio TURSI, Servizio di Gastroenterologia Territoriale, ASL BAT, Via Torino, 49, 76123 Andria (BT), Italy.
Tel: +39 0883 551094; fax: +39 0883 1978210;


Background  Inflammation may be detected in diverticular disease (DD), and fibrosis may also develop. We assessed the mucosal expression of bFGF, SD1, and TNF-α in DD according to the severity of the disease. Moreover, we assessed the response to therapy of these cytokines in acute uncomplicated diverticulitis (AUD).

Methods  Fifteen patients affected by AUD and seven patients affected by symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD) were enrolled. Patients with asymptomatic diverticulosis (AD), segmental colitis associated with diverticulosis (SCAD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and healthy subjects (HC) served as control groups.

Key Results  The expression of bFGF, SD1, and TNF-α was significantly higher in diverticulitis than in healthy controls, in diverticulosis, and in uncomplicated diverticular disease. Cytokines were significantly higher in uncomplicated diverticular disease than in healthy controls. Cytokine expression in diverticulitis did not differ significantly from that of ulcerative colitis. After treatment, TNF-α expression dropped significantly.

Conclusions & Inferences  Mucosal TNF-α is overexpressed only in symptomatic DD, while SD1 and bFGF are already overexpressed in AD. Finally, TNF-α but not SD1 or bFGF expression seems to be influenced by the treatment in AUD.