Gut 44:629-635 doi:10.1136/gut.44.5.629
  • Inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease

Enhanced production of monocyte chemotactic protein 3 in inflammatory bowel disease mucosa


BACKGROUND The β chemokine monocyte chemotactic protein 3 (MCP-3) has chemoattractant and activating capabilities in monocytes, lymphocytes, eosinophils, and basophils.

AIMS To investigate MCP-3 expression in inflammatory conditions of the human intestinal mucosa.

PATIENTS Forty five colon biopsy specimens from 18 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; 16 specimens from inflamed and 10 from non-inflamed areas) and 19 control patients were examined.

METHODS Immunohistochemical staining and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used for MCP-3 detection in tissue sections. Intestinal epithelial cell lines (HT-29, Caco-2, T-84) were stimulated with interleukin (IL) 1β, IL-6, and tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and examined for MCP-3 protein and mRNA expression using immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR, respectively.

RESULTS In tissue sections, MCP-3 protein was detected predominantly in epithelial cells, both in patients with IBD and in controls. MCP-3 staining was particularly pronounced at sites of active mucosal inflammation. The intensity of MCP-3 staining was positively correlated with the extent of epithelial destruction. In intestinal epithelial cell lines, MCP-3 mRNA was expressed, whereas MCP-3 protein was not consistently detected.

CONCLUSIONS Our data show that MCP-3 protein is present in normal and inflamed intestinal tissue. MCP-3 production is substantially enhanced in areas of active inflammation, suggesting an immunoregulatory role of MCP-3 in intestinal inflammation.


  • Abbreviations:
    Crohn’s disease
    inflammatory bowel disease
    monocyte chemotactic protein
    macrophage inflammatory protein
    tumour necrosis factor
    ulcerative colitis