Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) include Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).
These diseases are a public health problem because they concern many patients (1 case in
1000). IBDs are characterized by dysregulated immune response against luminal antigens
causing chronic inflammation of the gut in genetically predisposed individuals. Their exact
cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. The primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is
a liver inflammatory disease of unknown origin that is known to be strongly associated with
IBD. An important clinical observation highlights the mild symptoms of IBD when associated to
the PSC. Conversely, treating PSC by liver transplant or immunosuppressive drugs is
associated with a progression of intestinal inflammation.
Based, on these clinical findings that suggest a protective effect regulator of liver
inflammation on intestinal inflammation, and on the results obtained by our group in mouse
models that identified the natural killer T cell (NKT) as essential in control of
experimental colitis, the project aims to determine, using PCR, if the expression of NKT cell
markers are increased in the colon of patients with PSC+IBD compared to patients with IBD
alone or PSC alone.