Increased numbers of mast cells and mast cell activation in distal gut segments are associated with symptom onset and severity in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Although upper gut symptoms are common, mast cells have not been thoroughly evaluated in proximal gut in IBS patients.
Dr Javier Santos and colleagues from Spain obtained jejunal biopsies in 20 diarrhea-predominant patients with IBS and 14 healthy volunteers.
The biopsies were obtained using Watson's capsule, aspiration of intestinal fluid and 1 blood sample.
The researchers evaluated psychological stress and depression at baseline.
The research team excluded food and respiratory allergy.
The team assessed microscopic inflammation by counting intraepithelial lymphocytes.
|Patients showed higher psychological stress than volunteers|
The team counted mast cells in lamina propria by immunohistochemistry.
Tryptase concentration was measured in intestinal fluid and serum.
The team found that diarrhea-predominant patients with IBS showed higher psychological stress than healthy volunteers.
Immunohistochemical staining of jejunal mucosa revealed mild increase in intraepithelial CD3+ cells in diarrhea-predominant patients with IBS.
Moreover, the team noted that diarrhea-predominant patients with IBS showed marked increase in mast cells numbers.
The researchers observed that diarrhea-predominant patients with IBS had higher tryptase concentration in jejunal fluid.
Upper gut symptoms were not associated with gender, mast cell counts, jejunal tryptase or basal stress.
Dr Santos' team concludes, “This jejunal mucosal inflammatory profile may help identify diarrhea-predominant IBS, a stress-related disorder.”