Published online Dec 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i47.9049
Revised: September 1, 2013
Accepted: September 15, 2013
Published online: December 21, 2013
AIM: To investigate serum insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5 (IGFBP-5) levels and intestinal IGFBP-5 expression in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD).
METHODS: We analyzed the serum concentrations and intestinal expression of IGFBP-5 in 42 patients with CD, of whom 26 had endoscopically or radiologically proven stricture formation. Nine of the 42 patients had active disease, with a Crohn’s disease activity index > 150. Serum IGFBP-5 levels were analyzed in 20 healthy controls matched by sex and age to the CD patients. Serum IGFBP-5 was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Intestinal tissue was obtained from patients through endoscopic biopsies. IGFBP-5 expression was detected using immunohistochemistry and was scored semiquantitatively.
RESULTS: The median serum IGFBP-5 concentrations of CD patients were significantly lower compared with healthy controls [median 7.2 (IQR: 5.5-11.3) ng/mL vs 11.3 (8.0-44.6) ng/mL, P < 0.001]. There was no significant difference between median serum IGFBP-5 levels in CD patients with or without stricture formation [6.9 (5.5-11.3) ng/mL vs 7.8 (5.3-10.1) ng/mL, P = 0.815]. The serum IGFBP-5 levels were not significantly different between patients with active disease and inactive disease [7.2 (6.5-7.6) ng/mL vs 7.2 (5.5-11.3) ng/mL, P = 0.890]. However, a significant correlation was observed between serum IGFBP-5 levels and platelet count (PLT) (r = 0.319, P = 0.0395). No significant correlation was found between tissue IGFBP-5 immunohistochemical staining intensity scores and serum IGFBP-5 levels. No significant difference was found when comparing the serum IGFBP-5 levels among the patients with different tissue IGFBP-5 staining scores (absent/very weak, weak, moderate or strong). There was a significant correlation between tissue IGFBP-5 staining scores and white blood cell count (r = 0.391, P = 0.01) and PLT (r = 0.356, P = 0.021).
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that serum IGFBP-5 concentrations were lower in CD patients compared to healthy controls regardless of disease activity or the presence of stricture formation.
Core tip: Previous studies have suggested that insulin-like growth factors are important for the growth and development of visceral smooth muscle. In particular, increased insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5 expression has been described in inflamed and fibrotic intestinal tissue. In this study, we aim to investigate the possible role of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5 in Crohn’s disease with stricture involvement. Crohn’s disease patients had lower serum levels of IGFBP-5 compared to healthy controls. The results of the study suggest that additional research is necessary to explain the low circulating levels of IGFBP-5 in Crohn’s disease patients.