We measured the mucosal levels of interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-2, IL-6, and IL-8 in affected segments of radiation-induced proctosigmoiditis and compared these with the levels in normal controls and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients.
Thirteen patients with histologically proven radiation proctosigmoiditis, 32 patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC), 35 patients with Crohn's disease, and 15 normal subjects undergoing routine colonoscopy were included in the study. All patients underwent colonoscopy and mucosal biopsies were obtained from both diseased and normal-appearing areas. Mucosal levels of IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-8 were determined by solid-phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using the Quantikine method (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN). All the data were statistically analyzed using Student's t test.
The mucosal levels of IL-2, IL-6, and IL-8 were significantly higher in both diseased segments (5.62 ± 0.13, 1.60 ± 0.31, and 21.45 ± 4.03 pg/ml, respectively) and normal-appearing segments (3.83 ± 0.78, 1.36± 0.34, and 13.45 ± 3.18 pg/mg) in the radiation proctitis group compared to those of normal control subjects (1.74 ± 0.23, 0.67 ± 0.09, and 4.99 ± 1.39 pg/mg). These differences were statistically significant. (p < 0.05). In the UC group, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 levels in diseased segments were 4.98 ± 0.53, 2.22 ± 0.28, and 88.85 ± 8.05 pg/mg, respectively. In Crohn's disease patients, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 levels were 5.45 ± 0.93, 2.88 ± 0.58, and 61.68 ± 10.02 pg/mg, respectively. All these levels were significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared with IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 levels from normal segments of IBD patients. Compared with the radiation proctitis patients, the levels of IL-6 and IL-8 were significantly higher in the IBD group.
The mucosal levels of IL-2, IL-6, and IL-8 were significantly higher in both diseased and normal segments of colon in patients with radiation proctitis, compared with normal controls. Only IL-1β levels were significantly higher in diseased segments, compared with endoscopically normal-appearing segments in radiation proctitis. These results indicate that there is a similarity in the activation of mucosal cytokines between IBD and radiation proctosigmoiditis. This may partly explain the beneficial effects of similar topical and systemic agents such as steroids and mesalamine compounds when used in radiation-induced proctosigmoiditis.
Division of Gastroenterology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, New York, USA
Reprint requests and correspondence: Anant V K Indaram, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, 270–05 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.
Received April. 15, 1998; accepted December. 1, 1999