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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2009, Article ID 580450, 10 pages
Research Article

High Levels of Proinflammatory Cytokines, but Not Markers of Tissue Injury, in Unaffected Intestinal Areas from Patients with IBD

1Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Department of Pediatrics & Immunology, IBGM, University of Valladolid, 47005 Valladolid, Spain
2Division of Immunology, International Institute of Infection and Immunity, Shantou University, Guangdong 515041, China
3Research Unit, Hospital Clínico Universitario, 47011 Valladolid, Spain
4General Surgery Unit, Hospital Universitario Rio-Hortega, 47012 Valladolid, Spain
5Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital Clínico Universitario, 47011 Valladolid, Spain

Received 15 January 2009; Accepted 8 June 2009

Academic Editor: Donna-Marie McCafferty

Copyright © 2009 Alberto J. León et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intestinal alterations in IBD are triggered and maintained by an overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines. Additionally, increased immune activation has been found in the adjacent intestinal areas without displaying any apparent histological alterations, however, the regulatory environment is not well established. Biopsy specimens from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), from both affected and unaffected areas, and also from a group of colonic biopsies from healthy controls, were included in our study. Cytokines and markers of mucosal damage were analyzed by real-time PCR, and some of the results confirmed by western-blot and ELISA. Levels of IFN , TNF , IL-6, IL-15, IL-18, and IL-23 were increased (above healthy controls) in both affected and unaffected areas from IBD. IL-1 , IL-6, IL-12, and IL-27 were higher in affected areas compared to unaffected ones in UC but not CD. In general, a correlation was observed between mRNA levels of these cytokines and both iNOS and Granzyme B. SOCS-2 and SOCS-3 were also increased in the affected areas. In conclusion, the unaffected areas from IBD show increased levels of a restricted set of cytokines that may exert immune activating roles in these areas without being able to trigger tissue damage.