Expression of osteopontin (Eta-1) in Crohn disease of the terminal ileum

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Background: The causes of Crohn disease (CD) are still regarded as unknown, but impaired mucosal immunoregulation with activation of T-helper-1 (Th-1) cytokine responses is probably involved and may contribute to the morphological changes. We investigated a possible role of osteopontin (Opn) in the pathogenesis of CD. This glycoprotein has been suggested to be involved in the generation of Th-1-type immune responses; moreover, it carries anti-inflammatory activities. Methods: Ileal samples from CD patients-both actively inflamed and inactive areas as well as unaffected intestinal specimens from controls (normal ileum)-were investigated by Western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Results: In normal gut, Opn was found to be regularly expressed by plasma cells (CD 38) and a subset of lamina propria mononuclear cells (MNC) as well as by intestinal epithelial cells (IEC). In active CD, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization analysis revealed a loss of Opn expression by IEC adjacent to ulcerative lesions, whereas especially plasma cells (CD 38) in the vicinity of such lesions were found to express the molecule. In addition, a slight overexpression of Opn protein was found in metaplastic crypts. However, quantitative analysis of total Opn protein in the ileal mucosa of CD patients did not reveal any difference vis-A-vis control tissues. Conclusions: The constitutive expression of Opn in normal gut indicates that it is involved in intestinal immune homeostasis. Downregulation of Opn expression in IEC might favour the disintegration of the epithelial barrier. The expression of Opn in lamina propria plasma cells could contribute to disease chronification, probably by affecting cell survival.


  • N Gassler
  • F Autschbach
  • S Gauer
  • Jörg Bohn
  • B Sido
  • HF Otto
  • H Geiger
  • N Obermuller
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Gastroenterologi


Sidor (från-till)1286-1295
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Utgåva nummer11
StatusPublished - 2002
Peer review utfördJa