, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1061-1070

Eosinophil Activation in Ulcerative Colitis (Studies on Mucosal Release and Localization of Eosinophil Granule Constituents)

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Activation of eosinophil granulocytes(eosinophils) seems to contribute to the pathophysiologyof several inflammatory conditions. This process wasevaluated in 18 patients with ulcerative colitis and in 18 healthy controls using intraluminalsegmental perfusion of the sigmoid colon and rectum andimmunoanalysis for eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) inthe perfusate. Immunohistochemistry for eosinophils and neutrophils was made in simultaneouslytaken biopsies and in biopsies from surgical specimenstaken from additional 10 patients. The mucosal releaseof ECP was increased severalfold in patients with UC. The bowel biopsies demonstrated a laminapropria infiltrated with eosinophils. The degree ofeosinophil activation/degranulation was related to theintensity of the inflammatory reaction. Activated eosinophils and extracellular deposits of ECPwere, in particular, seen in crypt abscesses and inareas with damaged surface epithelium. Since ECP ishighly cytotoxic, its release at the site ofinflammatory bowel lesions might reflect a potentialpathophysiological mechanism.