Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC-IBD), share three major pathogenetic mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-gut dysbiosis, gut barrier failure and immune system dysregulation. While clinical differences among them are well known, the underlying mechanisms are less explored. To gain an insight into the IBD pathogenesis and to find a specific biomarker pattern for each of them, we used protein array, ELISA and flow cytometry to analyze serum biomarkers and specific anti-microbial B and T cell responses to the gut commensals. We found that decrease in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and increase in MMP-14 are the strongest factors discriminating IBD patients from healthy subjects and that PSC-IBD patients have higher levels of Mannan-binding lectin, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1), CD14 and osteoprotegerin than patients with UC. Moreover, we found that low transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is associated with disease relapse and low osteoprotegerin with anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) therapy. Patients with CD have significantly decreased antibody and increased T cell response mainly to genera Eubacterium, Faecalibacterium and Bacteroides. These results stress the importance of the gut barrier function and immune response to commensal bacteria and point at the specific differences in pathogenesis of PSC-IBD, UC and CD.
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