Systemic Molecular Mediators of Inflammation Differentiate Between Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, Implicating Threshold Levels of IL-10 and Relative Ratios of Pro-inflammatory Cytokines in Therapy
Kiernan, M.G.; Coffey, J.C.; Sahebally, S.M.; Tibbitts, P.; Lyons, E.M.; O'leary, E.; Owolabi, F.; Dunne, C.P.
Journal of Crohn's and Colitis 14(1): 118-129
Faecal diversion is associated with improvements in Crohn's disease but not ulcerative colitis, indicating that differing mechanisms mediate the diseases. This study aimed to investigate levels of systemic mediators of inflammation, including fibrocytes and cytokines,  in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis preoperatively compared with healthy controls and  in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis prior to and following faecal diversion. Blood samples were obtained from healthy individuals and patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Levels of circulating fibrocytes were quantified using flow cytometric analysis and their potential relationship to risk factors of inflammatory bowel disease were determined. Levels of circulating cytokines involved in inflammation and fibrocyte recruitment and differentiation were investigated. Circulating fibrocytes were elevated in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients when compared with healthy controls. Smoking, or a history of smoking, was associated with increases in circulating fibrocytes in Crohn's disease, but not ulcerative colitis. Cytokines involved in fibrocyte recruitment were increased in Crohn's disease patients, whereas patients with ulcerative colitis displayed increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Faecal diversion in Crohn's disease patients resulted in decreased circulating fibrocytes, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and TGF-β1, and increased IL-10, whereas the inverse was observed in ulcerative colitis patients. The clinical effect of faecal diversion in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may be explained by differing circulating fibrocyte and cytokine responses. Such differences aid in understanding the disease mechanisms and suggest a new therapeutic strategy for inflammatory bowel disease.