Readressing the Role of Toll-Like Receptor-4 Alleles in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Colitis, Smoking, and Seroreactivity
Toll-like receptor (TLR) polymorphisms, and especially TLR-4 Asp299Gly and TLR-4 Thr399Ile, have been linked with Crohn’s disease (CD) and to a lesser extent with ulcerative colitis (UC), CD behavior, and compromised seroreactivity to microbial antigens. Available data, however, are conflicting.
To address these issues, the distribution of TLR-4 polymorphic alleles was assessed in patients with UC, CD, and healthy controls (HC), considering patient and disease characteristics as well as related serological markers.
TLR-4 Asp299Gly and TLR-4 Thr399Ile polymorphisms were determined in 187 UC and 163 CD patients and 274 randomly selected HC. C reactive protein, anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae mannan antibodies, anti-mannobioside carbohydrate antibodies, anti-laminariobioside carbohydrate antibodies IgG, and anti-chitobioside carbohydrate antibodies (ACCA) IgA levels were also assessed.
UC and especially pancolitis patients carried the mutant alleles more frequently compared to CD patients and HC or UC patients with different disease extents (P = 0.002 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Involvement of the colon was more frequent in CD patients with mutant TLR-4 compared to those with wild-type alleles (P = 0.004). Levels and positivity rates of ACCA IgA were lower in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients carrying the mutant compared to those with wild-type alleles (0.075 < P < 0.05). Despite the mutant TLR-4 predisposition for UC pancolitis, smoking was associated with more limited disease (P < 0.001).
The presence of TLR-4 Asp299Gly and TLR-4 Thr399Ile polymorphisms is related to UC pancolitis, involvement of the colon in CD, and lower ACCA IgA levels. Smoking reduces the extent of UC, even in the presence of mutant alleles.
KeywordsInflammatory bowel disease Toll-like receptor-4 Polymorphisms Smoking Serology
The authors would like to thank Dr. Maria Satra for expert technical assistance and Dr. Georgios Nasioulas for sequence analysis of clinical specimens. Grant support for the current project was offered by the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology.
Conflict of interest
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