The concentration of myeloperoxidase, a neutrophil granule constituent, was measured in the perfusion fluid from sigmoid and rectal segments in patients with ulcerative colitis. The concentrations of myeloperoxidase were increased severalfold in the patients with ulcerative colitis compared with healthy controls pointing to an enhanced neutrophil activity. The release of myeloperoxidase correlated to an enhanced local release of the neutrophil activating peptide interleukin-8 (IL-8). Increased values of tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) were also found during intestinal perfusion of the patients and correlated with those of IL-8. The results obtained are compatible with the hypothesis that local mucosal recruitment/activation of neutrophils in ulcerative colitis is mediated by an enhanced IL-8 synthesis. TNF-alpha may be one relevant factor as a stimulus to IL-8 synthesis.
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