Dysregulation of immune responses to intestinal exogenous antigens contributes to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the specific antigen responsible for the pathogenesis is unknown.
In this study, investigators from Japan measured serum antibody titers against Caenorhabditis elegans antigens.
The team measured immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG subclass anti-C. elegans antibodies in serum samples using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Samples were obtained from 29 patients with ulcerative colitis, 30 with Crohn's disease, 7 with intestinal Behçet's disease. The team also assessed 11 healthy controls.
The investigators found that serum IgG and IgG2 antibody titers against C. elegans were significantly higher in patients with IBD than in the controls.
|Anti-C. elegans antibody titer was lower in Crohn's patients taking mesalazine or sulfasalazine.|
| Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology|
Antibody levels were not affected by age, gender, disease activity, extent of disease, or small bowel involvement.
However, the team determined that the anti-C. elegans antibody titer was significantly lower in those Crohn's disease patients who were taking mesalazine or sulfasalazine.
Dr Nobuhide Oshitani's team concluded, "The increased immune responses to C. elegans found in patients with IBD reflect dysregulated immune responses to enteric antigens, which might play a role in the pathogenesis of IBD".