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Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. Feb 2005; 64(2): 321–324.
Published online May 27, 2004. doi:  10.1136/ard.2003.018382
PMCID: PMC1755335

Colon mucosa of patients both with spondyloarthritis and Crohn's disease is enriched with macrophages expressing the scavenger receptor CD163


Objective: To investigate macrophages and other antigen presenting cells in gut mucosa from patients with SpA and Crohn's disease, given the relationship between both entities.

Methods: Biopsy specimens from patients with SpA, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and from controls were immunohistochemically stained with different markers for macrophages and dendritic cells. Slides were scored semiquantitatively on a four point scale.

Results: SpA and Crohn's disease were associated with large numbers of CD68+ macrophages. Colon mucosa of both patients with SpA and Crohn's disease, but not ulcerative colitis, showed increased numbers of macrophages expressing the scavenger receptor CD163.

Conclusions: Macrophages expressing the scavenger receptor CD163 are increased in colonic mucosa in SpA and in Crohn's disease, highlighting the relationship between these entities. The increased number of CD163+ macrophages in colon mucosa of patients with SpA suggests this is another argument for a role of macrophage scavenger receptors in this group of diseases.

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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
 Immunohistochemical staining for CD163 (peroxidase method). (A) Macrophages weakly positive for CD163 in the superficial lamina propria of control colon. (B) Increase in the number of CD163+ cells in Crohn's colitis. (C) Non-inflamed colonic ...
Figure 2
 Box and whisker plots representing the semiquantitative scores for CD68 and CD163 in the colonic lamina propria of patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA), Crohn's disease (CD), and ulcerative colitis (UC) compared with controls. p Values were ...

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