It is a common experience that gastrointestinal symptoms urge us to differentiate inflammatory bowel disease from functional disorders.
Furthermore, in patients with proven inflammatory bowel disease the disease activity has to be accurately monitored.
Dr Foell and colleagues from Germany reported that fecal markers of neutrophil influx into the mucosa are promising indicators of intestinal inflammation.
Some neutrophil-derived proteins may be linked to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease due to their functions as damage-associated molecular pattern molecules.
Phagocyte-specific damage-associated molecular pattern molecules of the S100 family are released from neutrophils or monocytes, followed by pro-inflammatory activation of pattern recognition receptors.
|'Calprotectin', and has been in use as a fecal marker for 10 years |
The researchers reported that the complex of S100A8/S100A9 was termed 'calprotectin', and has been in use as a fecal marker for 10 years.
More recently, faecal S100A12 has been reported to be an even more accurate fecal marker of inflammation.
Dr Foell's team concluded, “We reviewed the biology of this novel group of molecules that can be used as surrogate markers directly linked to the molecular mechanisms of gut inflammation.”