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Eosinophils Activated During Ulcerative Colitis Remission

Finding indicates that eosinophils may repair ulcerative colitis damage

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- High eosinophil activation during inactive ulcerative colitis (UC) suggests that eosinophils may help repair the injured epithelium, according to research in the December issue of Gut.

Markku Lampinen, Ph.D., of University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden, and colleagues used flow cytometry to analyze biopsy samples from 10 patients with active UC, 10 patients with inactive UC, eight patients with active distal UC and 11 controls.

The researchers found that the number of activated eosinophils was higher in patients with inactive UC than in patients with active UC or in controls. In patients with active distal UC, the investigators also found that eosinophil activity was high in the rectum and slightly elevated in the proximal colon.

"Our findings... generate several questions," write the study authors, who are conducting other studies on intestinal neutrophils and eosinophils from patients with UC in different stages of the disease. "Is the eosinophil mainly involved in tissue destruction, tissue repair, fibrosis, or all of these processes? Are granulocytes present in early events of incident UC or are they recruited at a later stage? Do they participate in the pathogenesis of the disease or do they protect already injured epithelium against infectious agents?"

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