Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 9, pp 2608–2618 | Cite as

B Cell-Activating Factor as a New Potential Marker in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Peipei Zhang
  • Xiaojing Liu
  • Aili Guo
  • Jing Xiong
  • Yu Fu
  • Kaifang Zou
Original Article



B cell-activating factor (BAFF) has been proposed to be a regulator of B cell and T cell immune responses and be associated with inflammatory processes in autoimmunity and B cell malignancies. No study has reported the role of BAFF in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


The purpose of this study was to investigate expression and concentrations of BAFF in IBD and determine its value to discriminate patients with IBD.


Seventy-eight ulcerative colitis (UC) patients, 37 Crohn’s disease (CD) patients, 12 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients and 44 healthy controls were recruited. We examined serum and faecal BAFF levels using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Intestinal BAFF expression was analysed in biopsies obtained from IBD patients. Intestinal mucosa localization of BAFF was conducted by immunofluorescence.


The median (25th–75th percentile) serum BAFF concentration (pg/ml) was 1430 (1105–1624) in CD patients, 1472 (1018–1772) in UC patients and 977 (482–1345) in healthy controls. Serum BAFF was 64 % sensitive and 93 % specific for identifying active IBD from healthy controls. The BAFF expression was significantly increased in biopsy specimens from IBD patients. Fecal BAFF concentration was 369 (326–493) pg/ml in CD patients, 542 (358–1758) pg/ml in UC patients, 294 (287–299) pg/ml in IBS patients and 295 (284–309) pg/ml in healthy controls. Fecal BAFF was 90 % sensitive and 96 % specific for identifying active IBD from healthy controls and IBS patients.


The novel association between BAFF and IBD seems to identify that BAFF might regulate the inflammatory process in these diseases and it appears to be a potential marker of IBD.


B cell-activating factor Inflammatory bowel disease Ulcerative colitis Crohn’s disease 



This study was funded by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81170361, 81570501).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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