Immunohistochemical study of adhesion molecules in irritable bowel syndrome: A comparison to inflammatory bowel diseases

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Forensic Pathology, Histology-Embryology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

2 Department of Paediatrics, General Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

3 Department of Internal Medicine, Ippokratio Hospital, Thessaloníki, Greece

4 3rd Department of Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Sotiria General Hospital, Athens, Greece

5 Department of Anatomy, Histology-Embryology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

6 1st Department of Internal Medicine and Hepato-Gastroenterology Unit, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece


Background: The surface of endothelial cells is covered with cell adhesion molecules including E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) that mediate the adhesion and extravasation of leukocytes and play a pivotal role in inflammatory response. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of expression of adhesion molecules in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients, and normal colonic mucosa. Materials and Methods: IBS and IBD patients along with normal colonic mucosa were recruited in the study. In all groups, two biopsies were taken from each of the three anatomical sites (terminal ileum, cecum, and rectum). Three monoclonal antibodies, E-selectin mAb, VCAM-1 mAb, and ICAM-1 mAb, were applied for immunohistochemical analysis. Results: In IBD patients, the expression of intensity of E-selectin, VCAM-1, and ICAM-1 was found decreased, at least in cecum and rectum, in comparison with IBS patients and controls (P < 0.001, P < 0.005, and P < 0.007, respectively). Comparison of the expression of intensity of the aforementioned molecules in IBS patients and controls revealed significant augmentation at the cecum and rectum of IBS patients. Conclusions: The expression of adhesion molecules appeared lower in IBD patients compared to IBS patients and controls. In addition, the expression of adhesion molecules appeared higher in IBS compared to the control group. Therefore, it could be hypothesized that the expression of adhesion molecules could be considered as an early event in the process of proinflammatory IBS group and may be other factors play a crucial role in the process of intestinal inflammation in IBD patients.


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