Published online Apr 28, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i16.1912
Peer-review started: December 25, 2019
First decision: January 19, 2020
Revised: January 24, 2020
Accepted: April 4, 2020
Article in press: April 4, 2020
Published online: April 28, 2020
The connection between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC) is well-established, as persistent intestinal inflammation plays a substantial role in both disorders. Cytokines may further influence the inflammation and the carcinogenesis process.
To compare cytokine patterns of active IBD patients with early and advanced CRC.
Choosing a panel of cytokines crucial for Th17/Treg differentiation and behavior, in colon specimens, as mRNA biomarkers, and their serum protein levels.
We found a significant difference between higher gene expression of FoxP3, TGFb1, IL-10, and IL-23, and approximately equal level of IL-6 in CRC patients in comparison with IBD patients. After stratification of CRC patients, we found a significant difference in FoxP3, IL-10, IL-23, and IL-17A mRNA in early cases compared to IBD, and IL-23 alone in advanced CRC. The protein levels of the cytokines were significantly higher in CRC patients compared to IBD patients.
Our findings showed that IL-6 upregulation is essential for both IBD and CRC development until the upregulation of other Th17/Treg related genes (TGFb1, IL-10, IL-23, and transcription factor FoxP3) is a crucial primarily for CRC development. The significantly upregulated IL-6 could be a potential drug target for IBD and prevention of CRC development as well.
Core tip: In our paper, we showed that IL-6 upregulation is essential for both inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer (CRC) development, whereas the upregulation of other Th17/Treg related genes (TGFb1, IL-10, IL-23, and transcription factor FoxP3) is a crucial primarily for CRC development. The significantly upregulated IL-6 could be a potential drug target for inflammatory bowel disease and prevention of CRC development as well.