Random motility and chemotaxis of peripheral blood neutrophils and monocytes from patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have been measured using a modified Boyden Chamber filter assay. Increased random motility and chemotaxis of monocytes were found in patients with active ulcerative colitis. Monocyte motility was normal in Crohn's disease and no abnormality of neutrophil motility or chemotaxis was found in either disease. Drug therapy with prednisolone or sulphasalazine received in vivo was found to have no effect on the motility of the washed neutrophils and monocytes in vitro. This work adds to the evidence that monocytes are activated in ulcerative colitis but does not support the hypothesis that Crohn's disease is due to an inherent defect in phagocyte motility.
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