Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2013 - Volume 57 - Issue 3 > Interleukin-17 Immunity in Pediatric Crohn Disease and Ulcer...
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182979252
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Interleukin-17 Immunity in Pediatric Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Hölttä, Veera; Klemetti, Paula; Salo, Harri M.*; Koivusalo, Antti; Pakarinen, Mikko; Westerholm-Ormio, Mia; Kolho, Kaija-Leena; Vaarala, Outi*

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Objective: The present understanding of inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis mainly relies on studies of adult patients. Therefore, we studied the balance between T-effector and regulatory cells in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

Methods: Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry served to quantify the expression of immunological markers in mucosal biopsies and flow cytometry analysis was used in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Results: Colonic interleukin (IL)-17, IL-22, and IL-6 mRNA upregulation and increase in the number of colonic IL-17+ cells were demonstrated in both Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Likewise, colonic forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) mRNA expression and the number of colonic FOXP3+ cells were increased both in CD and in UC and were accompanied in CD also with increased numbers of FOXP3+CD25highCD4 cells in peripheral blood. Ileal relation of IL-17+/CD4+ cells was increased only in CD.

Conclusions: We showed activation of colonic IL-17/IL-22 axis and upregulation of FOXP3 to occur both in pediatric CD and in UC, indicating shared immunological characteristics. Upregulation of IL-17 was restricted to colon in UC, but existed in the ileum and in the colon in active CD.

© 2013 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,


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