Gut 35:669-674 doi:10.1136/gut.35.5.669
  • Research Article

Increased macrophage subset in inflammatory bowel disease: apparent recruitment from peripheral blood monocytes.

  1. J Rugtveit,
  2. P Brandtzaeg,
  3. T S Halstensen,
  4. O Fausa,
  5. H Scott
  1. Department A, University of Oslo, National Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Norway.


      Mucosal specimens from active Crohn's disease (ileum, n = 6; colon, n = 6), active ulcerative colitis (n = 9), normal ileum (n = 6), and normal colon (n = 6) were subjected to paired immunofluorescence staining for characterisation of macrophage subsets in situ. In the normal state, only few CD68+ macrophages (< 10%) expressing the myelomonocytic L1 antigen (calprotectin) were seen. In inflamed mucosa, especially near small vessels, the CD68+L1+ fraction increased with the degree of inflammation, near ulcers to median 65% (range 35-91%). Cells reactive with the monoclonal antibody RFD7 were also increased in inflammation but less than 5% of them costained for L1 antigen. It is concluded that L1 producing macrophages are distinct from the RFD7+ subset and probably recently recruited from peripheral blood monocytes. Like granulocytes, L1+ macrophages may be important in non-specific defence, providing calprotectin with putative anti-microbial and anti-proliferative properties.