Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 6 > Cytokine Profiles in Peripheral Blood of Children and Adults...
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182455bb3
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Cytokine Profiles in Peripheral Blood of Children and Adults With Crohn Disease

Pak, Seung*; Holland, Nina*; Garnett, Elizabeth A.; Mileti, Elizabeth; Mahadevan, Uma; Beckert, Rachel; Kanwar, Bittoo; Heyman, Melvin B.

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Background: Increasing evidence suggests that cytokine dysregulation in T-helper 1 and T-helper 2 (TH1/TH2) subsets contributes to the pathogenesis of Crohn disease (CD). The present pilot study examines the hypothesis that cytokine profiles differ between pediatric and adult patients with CD.

Methods: Production of TH1 cytokines interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and of TH2 cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-6 was analyzed in peripheral blood of patients with CD and healthy controls (n = 20) using flow cytometry after in vitro stimulation.

Results: In both pediatric and adult subjects, frequencies of TNF-α CD4+ T cells were higher in patients with CD than in controls (P = 0.009 and P = 0.047, respectively). Percentages of cells expressing IL-4 were slightly increased (P = 0.036), whereas those for IFN-γ were decreased (P = 0.009) in pediatric patients with CD compared with controls. As expected, the overall production of TH1 cytokines was higher in adults compared with pediatric subjects. When memory CD4+CD45RO+ T cells were considered, lower IFN-γ expression was observed in pediatric subjects with CD compared with controls (P = 0.009), matching the trend seen in the general CD4+ T cell population. The percentage of CD4+CD45RO+ T cells was increased in adult patients with CD compared with pediatric patients with CD (P = 0.016).

Conclusions: The present study describes a peripheral blood TH1/TH2 cytokine imbalance in CD and suggests different immunological mechanisms in children and adults for disease pathogenesis.

Copyright 2012 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN


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