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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Oct 1;24(4):628-642. doi: 10.5056/jnm18130.

Expression of Toll-like Receptors, Pro-, and Anti-inflammatory Cytokines in Relation to Gut Microbiota in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Evidence for Its Micro-organic Basis.

Author information

1
Departments of Microbiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.
2
Departments of Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.

Abstract

Background/Aims:

A Subset of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may have mild inflammation due to immune activation. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and cytokines may cause intestinal inflammation. We studied their expression in relation to gut microbiota.

Methods:

Expression of TLRs and cytokines was assessed in 47 IBS patients (Rome III) and 25 controls using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry was further performed to confirm the expression of TLR-4 and TLR-5.

Results:

Of 47 patients with IBS, 20 had constipation (IBS-C), 20 diarrhea (IBS-D), and 7 unclassified (IBS-U). The mRNA levels of TLR-4 and TLR-5 were up-regulated in IBS patients than controls (P = 0.013 and P < 0.001, respectively). Expression of TLR-4 and TLR-5 at protein level was 4.2-folds and 6.6-folds higher in IBS-D than controls. The mRNA levels of IL-6 (P = 0.003), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 11 (CXCL-11) (P < 0.001) and C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR-3) (P < 0.001) were higher among IBS patients than controls. Expression of IL-6 (P = 0.002), CXCL-11 (P < 0.001), and CXCR-3 (P < 0.001) were up-regulated and IL-10 (P = 0.012) was down-regulated in IBS-D patients than controls. Positive correlation was seen between TLR-4 and IL-6 (P = 0.043), CXCR-3, and CXCL-11 (P = 0.047), and IL-6 and CXCR-3 (P = 0.003). Stool frequency per week showed positive correlation with mRNA levels of TLR-4 (P = 0.016) and CXCR-3 (P = 0.005), but inversely correlated with IL-10 (P = 0.002). Copy number of Lactobacillus (P = 0.045) and Bifidobacterium (P = 0.011) showed correlation with IL-10 in IBS-C, while Gram-positive (P = 0.031) and Gram-negative bacteria (P = 0.010) showed correlation with CXCL-11 in IBS-D patients.

Conclusions:

Altered immune activation in response to dysbiotic microbiota may promote intestinal inflammation in a subset of patients with IBS.

KEYWORDS:

Cytokines; Immunohistochemistry; Lipopolysaccharide; Peptidoglycan; Toll-like receptors

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