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Mucosal Immunol. 2008 Jul;1(4):297-308. doi: 10.1038/mi.2008.13.

Acute appendicitis is characterized by a uniform and highly selective pattern of inflammatory gene expression.

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Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Acute appendicitis (AA) is the most common life-threatening surgical emergency in pediatrics. To characterize the nature of the inflammatory response in AA, gene expression profiles were generated. We found remarkable uniformity in the genes that were differentially expressed between patients with appendicitis and control groups. Sixty-four probe sets were differentially expressed in samples from patients with both severe and mild appendicitis compared to control samples, and within this group we were able to identify four dominant clusters. Interestingly, expression levels of interleukin (IL)-8 significantly correlated with histologic score, and expression of IL-8 protein was observed within both neutrophils and mononuclear cells by immunohistochemistry, suggesting a possible role in the etiology of appendicitis. Although there was some overlap between genes reported to be differentially expressed in Crohn's disease (CD) and those observed in AA, differential expression of genes involved in interferon responses that characterize CD was not observed.

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