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Dig Dis Sci. 1992 Jun;37(6):818-26.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and interleukin-6 expression in inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.


The etiology of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) remains enigmatic. Infiltrating intestinal macrophages are capable of producing the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). We investigated the presence of IL-6, TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta mRNA transcripts in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), normal, and other inflammatory intestinal specimens utilizing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). TNF-alpha mRNA levels did not very between inflammatory bowel disease and control specimens. IL-1 beta mRNA levels were highest in active UC and noninflammatory bowel disease inflammatory specimens while IL-6 mRNA levels were highest in active IBD specimens. Infiltrating T cells, macrophages, and B cells were identified as sources of IL-6 protein in inflammatory bowel disease specimens by immunofluorescent staining. IL-6 transcripts were elevated only in active inflammatory bowel disease specimens, suggesting that IL-6-mediated immune processes are ongoing in the inflammatory mucosal environment of CD and UC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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