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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Oct;40(8):955-65. doi: 10.1111/apt.12914. Epub 2014 Aug 11.

Proton pump inhibitor-responsive oesophageal eosinophilia correlates with downregulation of eotaxin-3 and Th2 cytokines overexpression.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital San Pedro de Alcantara, Caceres, Spain.



The molecular basis and effects of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on PPI-responsive oesophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE) and eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) remain unknown.


To compare symptom-histological and cytokine gene expression in PPI-REE and EoE patients, at baseline and after specific treatment.


In consecutive adult patients with an EoE phenotype (dysphagia/food impaction, typical endoscopic findings and > 15 eos/HPF), gene expression of eotaxin-3, IL-13, and IL-5 were determined in distal and proximal oesophagus, at baseline and after omeprazole 40 mg b.d. for 8 weeks. PPI-REE was defined by clinicohistological response. PPI nonresponders (EoE) were offered treatment with topical steroids.


Fifty three patients were re-evaluated on PPI therapy. 23 patients (43%) had PPI-REE and 30 patients (57%) had EoE. At baseline, eotaxin-3/IL-13/IL-5 gene expression was indistinguishable between EoE and PPI-REE, excepting increased IL-5 expression in proximal oesophagus (12.54 vs. 57, P = 0.029). PPI therapy significantly decreased eotaxin-3/IL-13 in PPI-REE, at both oesophageal sites (P ≤ 0.008), and IL-5 in distal (P = 0.016), but not in proximal oesophagus. Patients with steroid-responsive EoE also showed a significant decrease in eotaxin-3/IL-5 expression at both oesophageal sites. In EoE patients, initial PPI trial significantly decreased distal oesophageal eosinophilia (63.78 to 41.79 eos/HPF, P = 0.025) and led to symptom remission in 16%, but did not influence Th2 markers.


Baseline cytokine gene expression in PPI-REE was nearly indistinguishable from EoE. PPI therapy significantly downregulated oesophageal eotaxin-3/Th2-cytokine gene expression in PPI-REE, similarly to that seen in steroid-responsive EoE. A subset of EoE patients showed clinicohistological improvement on PPI therapy.

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