Gut 45:856-863 doi:10.1136/gut.45.6.856
  • Inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease

Expression of lymphocyte-endothelial receptor-ligand pairs, α4β7/MAdCAM-1 and OX40/OX40 ligand in the colon and jejunum of patients with inflammatory bowel disease


BACKGROUND The interaction between leucocytes and vascular endothelial cells is essential for leucocyte migration into inflammatory sites.

AIMS To study the local expression of the pairs of complementary molecules, α4β7/mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule (MAdCAM-1) and OX40/OX40 ligand in the lamina propria of the colon and jejunum of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

METHODS Ten patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC), nine with active Crohn's disease (CD), and seven irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) controls were submitted to endoscopic and peroral jejunal biopsies. Specimens were immunostained by indirect alkaline phosphatase using antibodies against CD3, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) 1, α4β7, MAdCAM-1, and OX40. An OX40-mouse-IgG fusion protein was used to detect OX40 ligand on frozen sections. Immunohistological analysis was carried out by optical microscopy using a computer assisted image analyser.

RESULTS Colonic lamina propria of patients with CD and UC showed increased density of CD3+, α4β7+, and OX40+ cells compared with IBS controls. ICAM-1, MAdCAM-1, and OX40 ligand positive vessels were also increased compared with IBS controls. No significant difference was found in the density of any of these cells in the jejunal mucosa of patients compared with IBS controls.

CONCLUSIONS The expression of MAdCAM-1 and OX40 ligand on gut endothelial and OX40+ cells is increased in sites of mucosal inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. No evidence was found for increased lamina propria T cells or increased vascular adhesion molecule expression in the proximal intestine of patients with distal inflammatory bowel disease.


  • Abbreviations used in this paper:
    irritable bowel syndrome
    tumour necrosis factor
    intercellular adhesion molecule
    mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule