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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2020 March;66(1):23-8

DOI: 10.23736/S1121-421X.19.02602-3


language: English

Urotensin II receptor expression in patients with ulcerative colitis: a pilot study

Antonietta G. GRAVINA 1 , Marcello DALLIO 1, Concetta TUCCILLO 1, Marco MARTORANO 2, Ludovico ABENAVOLI 3, Francesco LUZZA 3, Paola STIUSO 1, Stefania LAMA 1, Paolo GRIECO 4, Francesco MERLINO 4, Michele CARAGLIA 1, Carmelina LOGUERCIO 1, Alessandro FEDERICO 1

1 Department of Precision Medicine, Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Naples, Italy; 2 Unit of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Immacolata Hospital, Sapri, Salerno, Italy; 3 Department of Health Sciences, Magna Grecia University, Catanzaro, Italy; 4 Department of Pharmacy, Federico II University, Naples, Italy

BACKGROUND: Urotensin II (U-II) is a vasoactive peptide that interacts with a specific receptor named UTR. Recently, our group has demonstrated increased UTR expression in both human colon adenocarcinoma cell lines and adenomatous polyps, as well as in colon carcinoma samples if compared to healthy colon samples of the same patients. We also showed that an UTR agonist induced an increase in colon adenocarcinoma cell growth in vitro, whereas the UTR block with a specific antagonist caused an inhibition of their growth and an inhibition of about 50% of both motility and cell invasion. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) associated with an increased baseline risk for colon cancer compared with the general population, and this risk is mostly attributed to chronic inflammation and immune dysregulation. This risk increases along with the duration of the disease, as demonstrated by many studies. There are no UTR expression data related to UC, and we therefore evaluated UTR expression in ill colon biopsies and in healthy colon ones of patients with UC and colon biopsies of healthy patients.
METHODS: We enrolled, prior to informed consent, 11 patients (5 males and 6 females, age range 29-75 years, median age 52 years) with first UC diagnosis compared to 11 healthy controls (6 males and 5 females, age range 30-78 years, median age 55 years). We have therefore sampled inflammatory and healthy tissue in UC patients. We have also taken colic tissue samples in healthy subjects. Evaluation of receptor expression was performed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western Blot analysis. The ANOVA Test (P<0.05) was used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: We found: 1) increased expression of UTR in 11/11 UC patients with ill mucosa biopsies compared to healthy controls in RT-PCR and in Western Blot analysis; 2) increased UTR expression in 11/11 UC patients with ill colon biopsies compared to the results obtained from healthy colon biopsies of the same patients both in RT-PCR and in Western Blot analysis; 3) increased UTR expression in 9/11 UC patients healthy colon biopsy specimens compared to healthy controls.
CONCLUSIONS: UTR could be considered as an inflammatory UC disease marker because its expression is greater in the mucosa of ill colon than in the healthy colon of the same patients and compared to healthy controls.

KEY WORDS: Urotensins; Colitis, ulcerative; Pilot projects

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