[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Crohn's disease (CD) is an inflammatory bowel disease caused by genetic and environmental factors. More than 160 susceptibility loci have been identified for IBD, yet a large part of the genetic variance remains unexplained. Recent studies have demonstrated genetic differences between monozygotic twins, who were long thought to be genetically completely identical.
RESULTS: We aimed to test if somatic mutations play a role in CD etiology by sequencing the genomes and exomes of directly affected tissue from the bowel and blood samples of one and the blood-derived exomes of two further monozygotic discordant twin pairs. Our goal was the identification of mutations present only in the affected twins, pointing to novel candidates for CD susceptibility loci. We present a thorough genetic characterization of the sequenced individuals but detected no consistent differences within the twin pairs. An estimate of the CD susceptibility based on known CD loci however hinted at a higher mutational load in all three twin pairs compared to 1,920 healthy individuals.
CONCLUSION: Somatic mosaicism does not seem to play a role in the discordance of monozygotic CD twins. Our study constitutes the first to perform whole genome sequencing for CD twins and therefore provides a valuable reference dataset for future studies. We present an example framework for mosaicism detection and point to the challenges in these types of analyses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IBD. The history of patients of the German IBD twin study was analyzed by questionnaires and interviews.
Randomly selected German monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins with at least one sibling suffering from IBD (n=512) were characterized in detail including demography, medical history and concomitant medications. Controls comprised of non-twin IBD patients (n=392) and healthy subjects (n=207).
The most significant variables that were associated with Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) included living abroad before time of diagnosis (OR, 4.32; 95% CI, 1.57-13.69), high frequency of antibiotic use (MZ CD OR, 5.03; 95% CI 1.61-17.74, DZ CD OR, 7.66; 95% CI, 3.63-16.82, MZ UC OR, 3.82; 95% CI, 1.45-10.56, DZ UC OR, 3.08; CI, 1.63-5.92), high consumption of processed meat including sausage (MZ CD OR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.15-38.12, DZ CD OR, 10.75; 95% CI, 4.82-25.55, MZ UC OR, 5.69; 95% CI, 1.89-19.48, DZ UC OR, 18.11; 95% CI, 7.34-50.85), and recall of bacterial gastrointestinal infections (MZ CD OR, 15.9; 95% CI, 4.33-77.14, DZ CD OR, 17.21; 95% CI, 4.47-112.5, MZ UC OR, 5.87; 95% CI, 1.61-28.0, DZ UC OR, 11.34; 95% CI, 4.81-29.67).
This study reinforced the association of life style events, in particular a specific dietary and infections history, with IBD. Alteration of gut flora or alterations of the mucosal immune system in reactivity to the flora could be an important factor to explain the relationship between life-style and disease.
Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 02/2012; 6(1):29-42. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between genetic and environmental factors are believed to be involved in onset and initiation of inflammatory bowel disease. We analyzed the interaction between gastrointestinal mucosal microbiota and host genes in twin pairs discordant for ulcerative colitis (UC) to study the functional interaction between microbiota and mucosal epithelium.
Biopsy were collected from sigmoid colon of UC patients and their healthy twins (discordant twin pairs) and from twins without UC. Microbiota profiles were determined from analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA libraries; messenger RNA profiles were determined by microarray analysis.
Patients with UC had dysbiotic microbiota, characterized by less bacterial diversity and more Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria than that of their healthy siblings; healthy siblings from discordant twins had more bacteria from the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae families than twins who were both healthy. In twins who were both healthy, 34 mucosal transcripts correlated with bacterial genera, whereas only 25 and 11 correlated with bacteria genera in healthy individuals and their twins with UC, respectively. Transcripts related to oxidative and immune responses were differentially expressed between patients with UC and their healthy twins.
The transcriptional profile of the mucosa appears to interact with the colonic microbiota; this interaction appears to be lost in colon of patients with UC. Bacterial functions, such as butyrate production, might affect mucosal gene expression. Patients with UC had different gene expression profiles and lower levels of biodiversity than their healthy twins, as well as unusual aerobic bacteria. Patients with UC had lower percentages of potentially protective bacterial species than their healthy twins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complementary therapies are frequently used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of long-term therapy with a new Boswellia serrata extract (Boswelan, PS0201Bo) in maintaining remission in patients with Crohn's disease (CD).
In 22 German centers a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel study was performed. In all, 108 outpatients with CD in clinical remission were included. Patients were randomized to Boswelan (3×2 capsules/day; 400 mg each) or placebo for 52 weeks. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients in whom remission was maintained throughout the 52 weeks. Secondary endpoints were time to relapse, changes of Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI), and IBD Questionnaire (IBDQ) scores.
The trial was prematurely terminated due to insufficient discrimination of drug and placebo with regard to the primary efficacy endpoint. A total of 82 patients were randomized to Boswelan (n=42) or placebo (n=40). Sixty-six patients could be analyzed for efficacy. 59.9% of the actively treated patients and 55.3% of the placebo group stayed in remission (P=0.85). The mean time to diagnosis of relapse was 171 days for the active group and 185 days for the placebo group (P=0.69). With respect to CDAI, IBDQ, and laboratory measurements of inflammation, no advantages in favor of active treatment were detected. Regarding safety concerns, no disadvantages of taking the drug compared to placebo were observed.
The trial confirmed good tolerability of a new Boswellia serrata extract, Boswelan, in long-term treatment of CD. However, superiority versus placebo in maintenance therapy of remission could not be demonstrated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification of dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease represents a major challenge for both clinicians and pathologists. Clear diagnosis of dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease is sometimes not possible with biopsies remaining "indefinite for dysplasia." Recent studies have identified molecular alterations in colitis-associated cancers, including increased protein levels of alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase, p53, p16 and bcl-2. In order to analyze the potential diagnostic use of these parameters in biopsies from inflammatory bowel disease, a tissue microarray was manufactured from colons of 54 patients with inflammatory bowel disease composed of 622 samples with normal mucosa, 78 samples with inflammatory activity, 6 samples with low-grade dysplasia, 12 samples with high-grade dysplasia, and 66 samples with carcinoma. In addition, 69 colonoscopic biopsies from 36 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (28 low-grade dysplasia, 8 high-grade dysplasia, and 33 indefinite for dysplasia) were included in this study. Immunohistochemistry for alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase, p53, p16 and bcl-2 was performed on both tissue microarray and biopsies. p53 and alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase showed the most discriminating results, being positive in most cancers (77.3% and 80.3%) and dysplasias (94.4% and 94.4%) but only rarely in nonneoplastic epithelium (1.6% and 9.4%; P < .001). Through combining the best discriminators, p53 and alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase, a stronger distinction between neoplastic tissues was possible. Of all neoplastic lesions, 75.8% showed a coexpression of alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase and p53, whereas this was found in only 4 of 700 nonneoplastic samples (0.6%). alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase/p53 coexpression was also found in 10 of 33 indefinite for dysplasia biopsies (30.3 %), suggesting a possible neoplastic transformation in these cases. Progression to dysplasia or carcinoma was observed in 3 of 10 p53/alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase-positive, indefinite-for-dysplasia cases, including 1 of 7 cases without and 2 of 3 cases with p53 mutation. It is concluded that combined alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase/p53 analysis may represent a helpful tool to confirm dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease.
Human pathology 10/2008; 40(2):166-73. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic predisposition as a cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been proven by both family and twin studies and genetic variants associated with the disease have been identified. The aim of our study was to determine the concordance rates for IBD in German twin pairs and to evaluate clinical characteristics of concordant and discordant twin pairs.
Patients with IBD were asked to participate and complete a questionnaire that contained questions about zygosity, demographic data, and medical history.
A total of 189 twin pairs in which at least 1 member had IBD were recruited (68 monozygotic and 121 dizygotic pairs). Within monozygotic pairs, 11 out of 31 (35%) were concordant for Crohn's disease (CD) and 6 out of 37 (16%) for ulcerative colitis (UC). Two of the 58 (3%) dizygotic pairs with CD and 1 out of 63 (2%) dizygotic pairs with UC were concordant for the disease. In 14 out of 20 (70%) discordant monozygotic CD pairs and 25 out of 31 (81%) discordant monozygotic pairs with UC, the first-born was affected by IBD. For discordant dizygotic twins, the first in birth order had IBD in 33 out of 56 (59%) pairs with CD and 40 out of 62 (64.5%) pairs with UC.
This study confirms a stronger genetic influence in CD than in UC. The high preponderance in being affected of the first-born twin and the fact that concordance was only 35% for CD and 16% for UC monozygotic twins highlight the important role of environmental trigger factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of recombinant interferon-beta-1a (rIFN-beta-1a) in outpatients with active steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis.
Ninety-one randomized patients subcutaneously received 3 MIU rIFN-beta-1a (group A, n = 32), 1 MIU rIFN-beta-1a (group B, n = 30), or placebo (group C, n = 29) 3 times a week over a period of 8 weeks in addition to standard therapy. An intention-to-treat analysis was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of treatment. Results: In all 3 groups, the median prestudy clinical activity index (CAI) was 10. In 18 of 32 patients (56%) in group A, in 11 of 30 patients (36%) in group B, and in 10 of 29 patients (34%) in group C, a reduction of the CAI of 6 points or greater (response) was achieved (differences were not statistically significant). Complete response (reduction of CAI to < or =4) was achieved in 56%, 30%, and 38% of patients in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Compared with baseline, the median endoscopic index had been reduced by 5, 3, and 4 points in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Steroid reduction was 12 mg in group A, 6 mg in group B, and 10 mg in group C. Identical side effects occurred in all 3 groups. Seven serious adverse events were reported (1 in group A and 6 in group C). All were unrelated to therapy as judged by the investigating physicians.
rIFN-beta-1a was safe but not significant, at the dosage and/or duration of treatment used, in steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis. Further studies are indicated.
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 06/2005; 3(6):581-6. · 6.65 Impact Factor