New aspects concerning ulcerative colitis and colonic carcinoma: Analysis of levels of neuropeptides, neurotrophins, and TNFalpha/TNFreceptor in plasma and mucosa in parallel with histological evaluation of the intestine

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Background:The levels of neuropeptides, neurotrophins, and TNFalpha (TNFα)/TNF receptor in plasma and mucosa for patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and colonic carcinoma, and concerning plasma also for healthy controls, were examined. Moreover, the relationships between the different substances and the influence of mucosal derangement on the levels were analyzed.Methods:The levels of VIP, SP, CGRP, BDNF, NGF, and TNFα/TNFreceptor1 were measured using ELISA/EIA.Results:Patients with UC demonstrated the highest levels of all analyzed substances in plasma, with the exception of BDNF. However, there were differences within the UC group, patients treated with corticosteroids, and/or nonsteroid antiinflammatory/immunosuppressive treatment having higher plasma levels than those not given these treatments. Patients with colonic carcinoma showed higher SP and TNFreceptor1 levels in plasma compared to healthy controls. Concerning mucosa, the levels of almost all analyzed substances were elevated for patients with UC compared to noncancerous mucosa of colonic carcinoma patients. There were correlations between many of the substances in both plasma and mucosa, especially concerning the 3 neuropeptides examined. There were also marked associations with mucosa derangement.Conclusions:Via analysis of correlations for the respective patients and via comparisons between the different patient groups, new and original information was obtained. Interestingly, the degree of mucosal affection was markedly correlated with tissue levels of the substances and the treatments were found to be of importance concerning plasma but not tissue levels of these. Combined plasma analysis of neuropeptides, neurotrophins, and TNFreceptor1 may help to distinguish UC and colonic carcinoma patients.

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