Abnormal Mucosal Glycoprotein Synthesis in Inflammatory Bowel Is Not Related to Cigarette SmokingRyder S.D.a · Raouf A.H.a · Parker N.a · Walker R.J.b · Rhodes J.M.a
aUniversity Department of Medicine, University of Liverpool, and bWalton Hospital, Liverpool, UK
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Patients with ulcerative colitis are usually non- or ex-smokers in contrast to Crohn’s disease where smoking is common. Abnormalities of quantity and quality of intestinal mucus have been postulated in the pathogenesis of these diseases. It is possible that smoking habit may exert its effects via changes in mucus in inflammatory bowel disease. We have therefore studied incorporation of N-acetylglucosamine into synthesized colonic mucin in explants from 85 controls with normal colonoscopic appearances and histology, including 27 smokers and 58 nonsmokers, 36 patients with ulcerative colitis and 19 with ileocolonic Crohn’s disease over 24 h in tissue culture. Incorporation of N-acetylglucosamine into normal explants was 31.3 ± (SD) 7.1 dpm/μg biopsy protein, incorporation was increased in patients with active Crohn’s disease (mean 41.2 ± (SD) 10.4 dpm/μg biopsy protein, p = 0.003), decreased in inactive ulcerative colitis (mean 24.1 ± 7.8 dpm/μg biopsy protein, p = 0.0006) but normal in active ulcerative colitis (mean 35.0 ± 13.8 dpm/μg biopsy protein, p = 0.44). No significant relationship was found between cigarette smoking habits and mucus synthesis in controls with normal mucosa (nonsmokers, n =58, mean 31.0 ± (SD) 7.52 dpm/μg biopsy protein; smokers, n = 27, mean 31.8 ± (SD) 6.1 dpm/μg biopsy protein, p = 0.9). This study shows that mucus glycoprotein synthesis is reduced in inactive ulcerative colitis, rising to normal levels in active disease and that synthesis is increased in Crohn’s disease. There is no effect of smoking on mucus synthesis by control biopsies suggesting that the differences seen in inflammatory bowel disease are not related to cigarette smoking.
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