Human neutrophil peptides 1–3 are useful biomarkers in patients with active ulcerative colitis

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Abstract

Background:

A specific useful biomarker for diagnosing ulcerative colitis (UC) has not yet been described. This study employed proteomics to identify serum protein biomarkers for UC.

Methods:

Ninety-four blood samples were isolated from patients and controls (including 48 UC, 22 Crohn's disease [CD], 5 colorectal cancer, and 6 infectious colitis patients and 13 healthy subjects). Serum samples were analyzed using the SELDI-TOF/MS ProteinChip system. After applying the samples to ProteinChip arrays, we assessed differences in the proteomes using Ciphergen ProteinChip software and identified candidate proteins, which were then characterized in immunoassays.

Results:

Preliminary analysis using the ProteinChip system revealed significant peak-intensity differences for 27 serum proteins between 11 patients with UC and 7 healthy subjects. Among these proteins, 3 proteins (with mass/charge ratios of approximately 3400) were identified as human neutrophil peptides 1–3 (HNP 1–3). The presence of HNP 1–3 in the patient sera was confirmed using immunoassays. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays demonstrated that the mean plasma concentration of HNP 1–3 was significantly higher in patients with active UC (n = 28) than in patients whose UC was in remission (n = 20) or patients with CD (n = 22), infectious colitis, or healthy subjects, and tended to be higher than in patients with colon cancer. In addition, the plasma concentration of HNP 1–3 in patients that responded to corticosteroids-based therapy decreased after treatment, whereas it was not changed in nonresponders.

Conclusions:

HNP 1–3 is a novel biomarker that may be useful for diagnosing patients with active UC and predicting treatment outcomes.

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