Activation of signal-transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) in pouchitis.

T Kühbacher, P Gionchetti, J Hampe, U Helwig, P Rosenstiel, M Campieri, H J Buhr, S Schreiber
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Clinical and experimental immunology : an official journal of the British Society for Immunology
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Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) is a hallmark of IFN-gamma receptor signal transduction but is also part of the signalling pathway of other cytokines/growth factor receptors. In ulcerative colitis, high levels of activation and expression of STAT1 have been observed in comparison with both Crohn''s Disease and normal controls. Pouchitis develops in some patients after Ileal-Pouch-Anal-Anastomosis (IPAA). The pathophysiology and aetiology of pouchitis is still unclear. Recent studies have shown an increased production of proinflammatory cytokines including IFN-gamma. To investigate the expression and activation of STAT1 in pouchitis and the influence of treatment, patients were followed longitudinally from pouch operation. Diagnosis of pouchitis was made by clinical, endoscopic and histological criteria. Biopsies were obtained during routine endoscopy and snap frozen in liquid nitrogen. Nuclear and cytosolic extracts were prepared and the expression and activation of specific transcription factors were assessed by Western blot, electrophoretic mobility shift assay and immunofluorescence. Patients who develop pouchitis show highly increased levels of STAT1 alpha as well as STAT1 beta expression and activation in comparison with both normal pouch and normal ileal mucosa. Improvement of pouchitis during antibiotic therapy relates to a normalization of STAT1 expression and activation. We conclude that activation of STAT1 correlates to clinical disease activity and therefore STAT1 could play an important role in the pathophysiology of pouchitis. Similarities in the pattern of activation of STAT1 in pouchitis and ulcerative colitis may suggest a common pathway in the immunopathophysiology of both diseases.