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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

IL-18-binding protein expression by endothelial cells and macrophages is up-regulated during active Crohn's disease.

The pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD) remains under intense investigation. Increasing evidence suggests a role for mature IL-18 in the induction of proinflammatory cytokines and Th1 polarization in CD lesions. The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of the IL-18-neutralizing (a and c) and non-neutralizing (b and d) isoforms of IL-18- binding protein (IL-18BP) during active CD. Intestinal endothelial cells and macrophages were the major source of IL-18BP within the submucosa, and this IL-18BP production was also found to be relevant to other types of endothelial cells (HUVEC) and macrophages (peripheral monocytes). IL-18BP messenger transcript and protein were significantly increased in surgically resected specimens from active CD compared with control patients, correlating with an up-regulation of IL-18. Analysis of the expression of the four IL-18BP isoforms as well as being free or bound to IL-18 was reported and revealed that unbound IL-18BP isoforms a and c and inactive isoform d were present in specimens from active CD and control patients while isoform b was not detected. IL-18/IL-18BP complex was also detected. Interestingly, although most was complexed, free mature IL-18 could still be detected in active CD specimens even in the presence of the IL-18BP isoform a/c. These results demonstrate that the appropriate neutralizing isoforms are present in the intestinal tissue of patients with active CD and highlights the complexity of IL-18/IL-18BP biology.[1]


  1. IL-18-binding protein expression by endothelial cells and macrophages is up-regulated during active Crohn's disease. Corbaz, A., ten Hove, T., Herren, S., Graber, P., Schwartsburd, B., Belzer, I., Harrison, J., Plitz, T., Kosco-Vilbois, M.H., Kim, S.H., Dinarello, C.A., Novick, D., van Deventer, S., Chvatchko, Y. J. Immunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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