Cytogenetic Damage in Blood Lymphocytes and Exfoliated Epithelial Cells of Children With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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This longitudinal, prospective study sought to establish whether pediatric Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are associated with increased levels of cytogenetic damage and whether folate supplementation in combination with other treatments mitigates cytogenetic damage in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). After a 1-mo treatment and folate supplementation, all clinical tests in CD (n = 24) and UC (n = 17) patients improved. Patients with CD were comparable in the cytogenetic response with controls (n = 28) assessed by micronucleus (MN) assay, but both groups differed from the UC group. While the MN frequency in epithelial cells slightly decreased from first to second observations in CD patients (p = 0.05) and controls (p = 0.11), an increase was observed in UC patients (p = 0.001). Similar changes were observed in blood lymphocytes resulting in significantly higher levels of the MNs and chromosome bridges in UC patients. These preliminary findings of a difference in chromosome damage between pediatric UC patients compared with CD patients and healthy controls warrant confirmation and expansion to determine (1) the role of cytogenetic damage in the pathogenesis of these diseases, (2) relative contribution of treatment and folate supplementation, and (3) potential links to the eventual development of cancer in some patients.

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