BACKGROUND AND AIMS—One form of epithelial cell injury in inflamed colonic mucosa in ulcerative colitis (UC) is reported to involve apoptosis of these cells. Bcl-2 family proteins Bax and Bcl-2 are the major regulators of apoptosis. The aim of this study was to elucidate the involvement of the Bax/Bcl-2 system in induction of apoptosis of the inflamed colonic epithelium in UC. METHODS—Colonic epithelium was isolated from colonic biopsy specimens. Expression of CD95, Bax, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-2 proteins was determined by western blotting. Bax gene expression was assessed by both reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) followed by Southern hybridisation and a real time PCR assay. RESULTS—Equal levels of expression of CD95, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-2 proteins were noted in normal and UC colonic epithelia. Equal levels of expression of Bax protein and mRNA were noted in epithelia of normal colon and inactive UC. Levels of expression of Bax protein and mRNA were markedly reduced in inflamed UC colonic epithelium. CONCLUSIONS—Our study showed for the first time downregulation of Bax in inflamed colonic epithelium of UC. The Bax/Bcl-2 system did not seem to be involved in induction of apoptosis of epithelial cells in the inflamed colonic mucosa of UC. Keywords: ulcerative colitis; apoptosis; Bax; Bcl-2; Bcl-xL; CD95
BACKGROUND AND AIMS—A histopathological feature considered indicative of ulcerative colitis (UC) is the so-called basal lymphoid aggregates. Their relevance in the pathogenesis of UC is, however, unknown. We have performed a comprehensive analysis of the immune cells in these aggregates most likely corresponding to the lymphoid follicular hyperplasia also described in other colitides. METHODS—Resection specimens of UC and normal colon were analysed by immunomorphometry, immunoflow cytometry, and immunoelectron microscopy, using a large panel of monoclonal antibodies. RESULTS—(1) In all cases of UC, colonic lamina propria contained numerous basal aggregates composed of lymphocytes, follicular dendritic cells, and CD80/B7.1 positive dendritic cells. (2) CD4+CD28 αβ T cells and B cells were the dominant cell types in the aggregates. (3) The aggregates contained a large fraction of cells that are normally associated with the epithelium: that is, γδ T cells (11 (7)%) and αEβ7+ cells (26 (13)%). The γδ T cells used Vδ1 and were CD4 CD8 . Immunoelectron microscopy analysis demonstrated TcR-γδ internalisation and surface downregulation, indicating that the γδ T cells were activated and engaged in the disease process. (4) One third of cells in the aggregates expressed the antiapoptotic protein bcl-2. CONCLUSIONS—Basal lymphoid aggregates in UC colon are a consequence of anomalous lymphoid follicular hyperplasia...
BACKGROUND—The reported cumulative risk of developing pouchitis in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients undergoing ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) approaches 50% after 10 years. To date, no preoperative serological predictor of pouchitis has been found. AIMS—To assess whether preoperative perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (pANCA) expression was associated with acute and/or chronic pouchitis after IPAA. METHODS—Patients were prospectively assessed for the development of clinically and endoscopically proved pouchitis. Serum obtained at the time of colectomy in 95 UC patients undergoing IPAA was analysed for pANCA by ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence. pANCA+ patients were stratified into high level (>100 ELISA units (EU)/ml) (n=9), moderate level (40-100 EU/ml) (n=32), and low level (<40 EU/ml) (n=19) subgroups. RESULTS—Sixty of the 95 patients (63%) expressed pANCA. After a median follow up of 32 months (range 1-89), 32 patients (34%) developed either acute (n=14) or chronic (n=18) pouchitis. Pouchitis was seen in 42% of pANCA+ patients compared with 20% of pANCA− patients (p=0.09). There was no significant difference in the incidence of acute pouchitis between the three pANCA+ patient subgroups. The cumulative risk of developing chronic pouchitis among patients with high level pANCA (56%) before colectomy was significantly higher than in patients with medium level (22%)...
BACKGROUND—Ulcerative colitis associated colorectal cancer (UCACRC) has several distinctive clinicopathological and genetic features which differ from sporadic colorectal cancer (SCRC). Hypermethylation of the E-cadherin gene (CDH1) has not been described previously in colorectal cancer. AIMS—A panel of SCRC and UCACRC were investigated for mutations in CDH1, and for hypermethylation of the promoter region of CDH1. SUBJECTS AND METHODS—DNA was available from 14 patients with UCACRC and from 14 with SCRC. All exons of CDH1 were amplified with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and screened using single strand conformational polymorphism and direct sequencing. Hypermethylation of the CDH1 promoter region was determined by methylation specific PCR following bisulphite modification, and compared with E-cadherin protein expression from a previous immunohistochemistry study. RESULTS—Thirteen of 28 cancers (46%) were hypermethylated in the CDH1 promoter region—eight cancers (57%) in the UCACRC group and five cancers (36%) in the SCRC group (NS)—and this correlated with reduced E-cadherin expression (p<0.05). There was a trend for methylation to be associated with a more advanced stage of cancer although this did not reach statistical significance. There were no mutations in CDH1 in either group although there were several polymorphisms. CONCLUSION—We have demonstrated hypermethylation of the promoter region in CDH1 in 46% of colorectal cancers studied. There was no difference between the UCACRC and SCRC groups. Just as there are specific differences in the genetic changes between UCACRC and SCRC...
A male patient with a 17 year history of intractable ulcerative colitis of the entire type was treated by total proctocolectomy. Colonoscopy before surgery did not identify dysplasia. Histological examination of the resected colorectum revealed that, in addition to chronic inflammatory infiltrates, there were 21 areas of microcarcinoids located in the muscularis propria and in the superficial layer of the submucosa. Carcinoids may be more common than previously thought, and they may be a reactive phenomenon to a variety of factors in ulcerative colitis.
Background: Tumour necrosis factor production is increased in the mucosa of patients with active ulcerative colitis. The benefits of infliximab in Crohn’s disease are established. We investigated its efficacy in ulcerative colitis.
Background and aims: Longstanding ulcerative colitis (UC), especially in the presence of epithelial dysplasia, is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. As dysplasia is not visible during routine endoscopy, at least 40–50 random biopsies in four quadrants every 10 cm are recommended. Fluorescence endoscopy after sensitisation with 5-aminolaevulinic acid (5-ALA) was assessed for the detection of dysplasia in ulcerative colitis by taking optical guided biopsies. 5-ALA is converted intracellularly into the sensitiser protoporphyrin IX which accumulates selectively in neoplastic tissue allowing the detection of dysplasia by typical red fluorescence after illumination with blue light.
Introduction: Ulcerative colitis occurs worldwide. It is considered common in most of Europe and North America and uncommon in most of the developing Asian countries. The incidence/prevalence of ulcerative colitis varies not only according to geographical region but also with race and ethnicity. There are no reported data from India on the incidence of the disease and its prevalence.
Background: Pilot studies of interferon α (IFN-α) suggest a high remission rate in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis. We evaluated the safety of pegylated interferon α (PegIFN) and its role in induction of remission in patients with active ulcerative colitis, in a multicentre placebo controlled trial.
Background and aims: Those who have had an appendicectomy have a reduced risk of developing ulcerative colitis. However, the effect of appendicectomy on disease activity in patients with ulcerative colitis has not been established.
Background and aims: Ulcerative colitis disease activity indices offer good statistical power but small changes in these indices may not be clinically important. There are no validated definitions of remission or of significant improvement for these indices. The use of clinically important end points would strengthen the validity of study outcomes. Our aims were to identify objective end points in standard disease activity indices for remission and for improvement in ulcerative colitis.
This interim report on a controlled therapeutic trial of azathioprine in ulcerative colitis deals with the first 40 patients to complete a one-year period of maintenance treatment with azathioprine or with dummy tablets. The patients all suffered from classical ulcerative colitis and were in an actual attack of the disease at the time of admission. The attack was treated with a standard corticosteroid regimen and the patients were assigned at random to maintenance treatment with real or dummy azathioprine tablets, using a stratified design. The treatment and control groups were closely similar at the beginning of the trial.
A survey of 458 patients treated for ulcerative colitis either medically or surgically by colectomy and the establishment of an ileostomy has provided further evidence that in Australia at least there is a significant association between ulcerative colitis and urinary calculi. The actual risk to the unoperated patient is not particularly high but is in the vicinity of 4%. The survey further confirms that the risk continues after colectomy and ileostomy, when the overall incidence of stones is roughly doubled. Finally, suggestive though admittedly somewhat inconclusive evidence supports the proposition that uric acid stones are more common in this group of patients.
Ulcerative colitis is a potential precursor of cancer of the colon or rectum. In a series of patients with ulcerative colitis operated on between 1952 and 1968 seven developed carcinoma in the residual rectal stump after total colectomy and ileorectal anastomis. After assessment of the risks of the other available forms of treatment, I believe that ileorectal anastomosis is the best operation in the majority of cases.
OBJECTIVE--To assess the safety and efficacy of a preparation of mesalazine (5-aminosalicylic acid) coated with a pH dependent resin (Eudragit L) as compared with sulphasalazine in patients with active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. DESIGN--Eight week randomised double blind parallel group study. SETTING--Forty six gastroenterology outpatient clinics in seven countries. PATIENTS--Two hundred and twenty patients aged 18-70 who met the following criteria: clinical activity index greater than or equal to 6 and endoscopic index greater than or equal to 4; no concomitant treatment for ulcerative colitis; no hypersensitivity to salicylates or sulphonamides. Of the 164 patients eligible for efficacy analysis, 87 received the coated preparation of mesalazine and 77 sulphasalazine. Most of the remaining patients (28 in each group) were ineligible for the efficacy analysis because of treatment with steroid enemas. All pretrial characteristics were comparable in the two treatment groups. INTERVENTIONS--Coated mesalazine (Mesasal) 1.5 g daily or sulphasalazine 3.0 g daily for eight weeks. Compliance monitored by pill counts. END POINT--Clinical and endoscopic remission. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Clinical activity measured by daily diary cards...
Clinical trials on novel drug therapies require clear criteria for patient selection and agreed definitions of disease remission. This principle has been successfully applied in the field of rheumatology where agreed disease scoring systems have allowed multi-centre collaborations and facilitated audit across treatment centres. Unfortunately in ulcerative colitis this consensus is lacking. Thirteen scoring systems have been developed but none have been properly validated. Most trials choose different endpoints and activity indices, making comparison of results from different trials extremely difficult. International consensus on endoscopic, clinical and histological scoring systems is essential as these are the key components used to determine entry criteria and outcome measurements in clinical trials on ulcerative colitis. With multiple new therapies under development, there is a pressing need for consensus to be reached.
Toxic dilatation of the colon is now a well-recognized complication of ulcerative colitis. Our experience with four cases is presented. The clinical picture was characterized by severe ulcerative colitis with increasing abdominal distension, high swinging temperatures, obvious toxicity, and a moderate to high leukocytosis with a pronounced shift to younger forms. Accurate history and physical examination, plain radiographs of the abdomen, sigmoidoscopy and, most important of all, awareness of the condition facilitate diagnosis in most cases. The main indications for surgical intervention are progressive abdominal distension and impending or actual perforation. Ileostomy and subtotal or total colectomy are the surgical procedures of choice. We feel that steroids play little part in the early management, but are of value in the early postoperative period. The three patients in our series treated surgically survived. One treated by medical means alone died of peritonitis.
For many years patients with chronic ulcerative colitis were subjected to operation as a last resort, but now, owing to improved surgical techniques and adequate preoperative preparation of the patient, mortality associated with operation has decreased and better-risk patients are being operated upon electively. The experience of the University of Alberta Hospital during the past 10 years in respect of the surgical management of chronic ulcerative colitis is reviewed, on the basis of 105 patients, 36 of whom underwent operation. The indications for surgery include obstruction, suspected carcinoma, hemorrhage, perforation, acute fulminating disease with toxic megacolon, and intractability. A variety of surgical procedures were used during this period, reflecting changing views in surgical management. Surgical complications include wound infections, bowel obstruction with ileostomy malfunction, skin excoriation, and electrolyte imbalance. In this series three of the 36 died, a mortality rate of 8%. One death was from liver failure and two were from peritonitis.
Sera were collected from 108 patients with inflammatory bowel disease and assayed for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and alpha1-fetoprotein (AFP). Seven (14%) of 51 patients with ulcerative colitis had a positive test for CEA and one of these had associated carcinoma of the colon. Ten (19%) of 52 patients with regional enteritis were also seropositive. The sera of 4 (9%) of 47 patients with ulcerative colitis and 2 (5%) of 41 patients with regional enteritis contained small amounts of AFP. Of two unclassified patients one had a positive CEA and the other a positive AFP. No serum was positive for both CEA and AFP. In addition, multiple samples were available for sequential analysis in eight CEA-positive patients but there was no apparent relationship between seropositivity and disease activity. Continued follow-up is now in progress to determine the significance of detectable fetal antigen levels in inflammatory bowel disease.