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Mucosal Changes Common in Twins of Crohn's Patients

Twins of inflammatory bowel disease patients often have mucosal glycosylation changes

WEDNESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in mucosal glycoprotein expression are "strikingly" common in unaffected monozygotic twins of inflammatory bowel disease patients, according to a study published in the July issue of Gut.

Keith Bodger, M.D., of the University of Liverpool in the U.K., and colleagues examined formalin fixed paraffin embedded rectal biopsies from 22 monozygotic twin pairs with inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The researchers compared patient biopsies with 19 controls with a normal mucosa, and tested for expression of oncofetal carbohydrate antigen TF and activated nuclear factor kB (NFkB) expression.

Almost all unaffected twins possessed the same colonic mucosal glycosylation abnormality as their genetically identical twins with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Also, 15 of 16 unaffected twins were TF positive compared with only five of 29 controls. TF positivity was confined mainly to the superficial epithelium and absent from the stem cell compartment of the lower crypts. Activated NFkB was present in the surface epithelium of mucosal biopsies from 13 out of 14 unaffected inflammatory bowel disease twins, but in only six of 22 histologically normal controls.

"The changes are probably acquired rather than congenital and may reflect 'preinflammatory' NFkB activation," the authors conclude.

Abstract
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