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Targeting neutrophils in inflammatory bowel disease: revisiting the role of adsorptive granulocyte and monocyte apheresis

Giorgos Bamias 1Evanthia Zampeli 2Eugeni Domènech 3 Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol  2022 Jul 19;1-15. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2022.2100759.

Introduction: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic immune-mediated disease of the gastrointestinal tract comprising Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). While any part of the digestive tract can be affected in CD, mucosal inflammation in UC is limited to the colon. Differences and similarities between the two conditions are reflected by their pathophysiology. Areas covered: An overview of immunological aspects, pharmacological management, and biomarkers of IBD is provided. The role of adsorptive granulocyte and monocyte apheresis (GMA) is reviewed including its primary and secondary effects on the immune system, as well as clinical studies in IBD (mainly UC), and potential biomarkers for adsorptive GMA. Expert opinion: In UC, adsorptive GMA with Adacolumn (Adacolumn®, JIMRO Co., Ltd. Takasaki, Gunma, Japan) selectively depletes elevated myeloid lineage leukocytes and has a range of beneficial secondary immune effects. Adsorptive GMA is a safe and effective non-pharmacological treatment option for UC. Pilot studies have reported promising results for adsorptive GMA in combination with biological agents, although larger studies are required. Fecal calprotectin concentrations, neutrophil counts in histological samples and/or the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in peripheral blood may prove to be useful biomarkers for predicting GMA effectiveness in the future.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Neutrophil–Lymphocyte Ratio: A Systematic Scoping Review

Blake O. Langley 1,Sara E. Guedry 1,Joshua Z. Goldenberg 1,Douglas A. Hanes 1,Jennifer A. Beardsley 2 andJennifer Joan Ryan 1,

The findings of this systematic scoping review highlight the potential utility of NLR as an adjunctive IBD biomarker with broad applications, including differentiation from non-IBD controls, clinical and endoscopic disease activity differentiation, prediction of loss of response to treatment, and prediction of risk of complications. NLR has promise for guiding therapeutic decision making, specifically for predicting loss of response to IFX. In conclusion, NLR is an emerging IBD biomarker with potential utility at nearly every point in IBD management. As a potential IBD biomarker, NLR is particularly advantageous given that it is minimally invasive, economical, and accessible as it is easily calculated from blood count data routinely and serially monitored in patients with IBD. Additional research is justified to better understand if routine observation of NLR in research and clinical practice could beneficially impact the care of patients with IBD.

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Complete Resolution of Mucosal Neutrophils Associates With Improved Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Patients With Ulcerative Colitis

Rish K Pai 1Douglas J Hartman 2Claudia Ramos Rivers 3Miguel Regueiro 4Marc Schwartz 3David G Binion 3Reetesh K Pai Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 Oct;18(11):2510-2517.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.12.011. Epub 2019 Dec 14.

Background & aims: We investigated correlations between histologic features of the colonic mucosa in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and clinical outcomes during a 3-year follow-up period. Methods: We obtained baseline biopsies from all colorectal segments (n = 889) from 281 patients with UC enrolled in a prospective study at a single center from 2009 through 2013. Biopsies were assessed in a blinded manner using validated histologic scoring systems (the Geboes score, Nancy histopathologic index, and Robarts histopathologic index). Clinical, endoscopic, and histologic data were collected and tested for correlations with systemic corticosteroid use, hospitalization, and colectomy within 3 years of the index colonoscopy. Results: We found histologic evidence of UC activity (Geboes score ≥ 2B.1) in biopsies from 182 patients (65%) and endoscopic evidence of UC activity in 149 patients (53%) (substantial agreement, κ = 0.60). Histologic features of UC activity were associated with increased rates of systemic corticosteroid use, colectomy, and hospitalization in the entire cohort (P < .05 for all) and associated with increased rates of systemic corticosteroid use in an analysis limited to patients in endoscopic remission (P < .001). In patients in endoscopic remission, only histologic activity was independently associated with use of systemic corticosteroids (multivariate odds ratio, 6.34; 95% CI, 2.20-18.28; P = .001). Similar results were seen when the entire cohort was analyzed. Compared with patients without histologic evidence of UC activity, patients with only a small number of mucosal neutrophils still had higher rates of systemic corticosteroid use (P < .001). Conclusions: Histologic evidence of UC activity, including small numbers of neutrophils in the colonic mucosa, is the only factor independently associated with use of systemic corticosteroids. Complete resolution of neutrophil-associated inflammation should be a target for treatment of UC.

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PICaSSO Histologic Remission Index (PHRI) in ulcerative colitis: development of a novel simplified histological score for monitoring mucosal healing and predicting clinical outcomes and its applicability in an artificial intelligence system

Xianyong Gui # 1Alina Bazarova # 2 3Rocìo Del Amor # 4Michael Vieth  et al. Gut  2022 Feb 16;gutjnl-2021-326376. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-326376. Online ahead of print.

Histological remission is evolving as an important treatment target in UC. We aimed to develop a simple histological index, aligned to endoscopy, correlated with clinical outcomes, and suited to apply to an artificial intelligence (AI) system to evaluate inflammatory activity. Methods: Using a set of 614 biopsies from 307 patients with UC enrolled into a prospective multicentre study, we developed the Paddington International virtual ChromoendoScopy ScOre (PICaSSO) Histologic Remission Index (PHRI). Agreement with multiple other histological indices and validation for inter-reader reproducibility were assessed. Finally, to implement PHRI into a computer-aided diagnosis system, we trained and tested a novel deep learning strategy based on a CNN architecture to detect neutrophils, calculate PHRI and identify active from quiescent UC using a subset of 138 biopsies. Results: PHRI is strongly correlated with endoscopic scores (Mayo Endoscopic Score and UC Endoscopic Index of Severity and PICaSSO) and with clinical outcomes (hospitalisation, colectomy and initiation or changes in medical therapy due to UC flare-up). A PHRI score of 1 could accurately stratify patients’ risk of adverse outcomes (hospitalisation, colectomy and treatment optimisation due to flare-up) within 12 months. Our inter-reader agreement was high (intraclass correlation 0.84). Our preliminary AI algorithm differentiated active from quiescent UC with 78% sensitivity, 91.7% specificity and 86% accuracy. Conclusions: PHRI is a simple histological index in UC, and it exhibits the highest correlation with endoscopic activity and clinical outcomes. A PHRI-based AI system was accurate in predicting histological remission.,PICaSSO%20Histologic%20Remission%20Index%20(PHRI)%20in%20ulcerative%20colitis%3A%20development,Gut.

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Granulocyte and monocyte adsorptive apheresis induces apoptosis of neutrophils and release of a novel chemoattractant for desensitization of interleukin-8 response

Nobuhito Kashiwagi Fumio Saito Hidetaka Maegawa Kenta Kaneda, Cytokine 2021 Mar;139:155410.

Objective: Apoptotic cells participate in maintenance of homeostasis of the adaptive immune system. Granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) performed with an Adacolumn has been shown to have clinical efficacy together with immunomodulatory effects for immune-mediated disorder cases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or psoriatic arthritis. Although induction of apoptosis in neutrophils by GMA has been observed, the detailed mechanism remains unclear. Methods: To focus on phagocytosis-induced cell death (PICD) that induces apoptotic neutrophils, a comparative study utilizing a GMA-carrier (leukocyte adsorbing carrier for Adacolumn) and yeast particles was performed with in vitro and in vivo examinations. Results: L-selectin was significantly (P = 0.0133) shed, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was promoted (P = 0.0019), and apoptosis induction was enhanced (P = 0.0087) by peripheral blood co-cultured with the GMA-carrier or yeast particles as compared to incubated blood alone. Furthermore, degranulation of myeloperoxidase, elastase, and lactoferrin was increased by both treatments, while the highest level of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist release was found with GMA-carrier treatment (P = 0.0087) as compared to the yeast particles. Plasma from blood treated with the GMA-carrier showed chemotactic activity, and suppressed neutrophil migration to IL-8 and LTB4. In vivo results demonstrated that neutrophil chemotaxis to IL-8 was desensitized (P = 0.0078) in rabbits following GMA apheresis, while CXCR1 and CXCR2 expressions in neutrophils were reduced by exposing peripheral blood to the GMA-carrier. Conclusions: GMA may regulate the immune system in patients with an immune-mediated disorder by inducing a biological response of neutrophils with a PICD-like reaction.

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Chie Kurihara, Toshihide Ohmori, Kenichi Inaba, Shunsuke Komoto, Kengo Tomita, Ryota Hokari Gastroenterology 2020 158 (6) Suppl.S-1046

Background: Granulocyte and monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) is non-pharmacological therapy which selective depletion of activated granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages from peripheral blood, and it is used as induction therapy for IBD. However, its therapeutic mechanism has not been well characterized. Recently, it has been reported that Th17 releases chemokines which attract neutrophils, and some neutrophils produce IL17. We investigated that changes in mRNA expression levels of inflammation associated molecules such as cytokines, chemokines in colonic mucosa of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients before and after GMA treatment in order to obtain further understanding of GMA therapeutic mechanisms. Methods: Thirty-two active UC patients (Mayo score ≥ 5 and Mayo endoscopic score ≥ 2) and 10 non-IBD control subjects were enrolled in this study. All UC patients received 10 times of GMA, and colonoscopies were applied before the first GMA and after the last GMA. Control subjects underwent colonoscopies for screening of colon cancer. Assessment of GMA therapeutic efficacy was determined based on Mayo score. Inflammation-related molecules mRNA expressions were determined by quantitative RT-PCR using biopsy specimen of colonic mucosa. Results: GMA treatment efficacy is 11 patients (34.4%) achieved clinical remission, 17 patients (53.1%) were response and 4 patients (12.5%) were non-response. Baseline characteristics such as sex, location of disease, CRP, WBC and Mayo score were not significantly different according to GMA efficacy. In the remission group, mRNA levels in mucosal tissue of IL1β, IL6, IL17, IL23 and GM-CSF which are Th17-asociated cytokines significantly decreased after the last GMA compared to the baseline levels(P<0,05) in contrast, expression of these mRNA tended to increase following GMA treatment in the non-response group. On the other hand, IL12 and IFN- γ which are associated with Th1 did not significantly decrease in the remission group. mRNA levels of leukocyte trafficking associated molecules such as MAdCAM-1, ICAM-1, integrinβ7, IL8 and MIP-1β significantly decreased following GMA treatment in the remission group(P <0.05), whereas only IL8 mRNA expression in the non-response group tended to increase. IL1 β, IL6, GM-CSF which are Th17-asociated cytokines and IL8 mRNA expressions in post-GMA treatment were significantly higher in the non-response group compared to the remission group or control group(P <0.05). Conclusion: In UC patients who achieved clinical remission by GMA, Th17- associated cytokines and leukocyte trafficking associated molecules but not Th1-asociated cytokines decreased significantly. Furthermore, Th17-asociated cytokines increased in the non-responders. These results reaffirm the involvement of neutrophil in the pathophysiology of UC and could be helpful for characterizing of GMA therapeutic mechanism.

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Complete Resolution of Mucosal Neutrophils Associates With Improved Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Patients With Ulcerative Colitis

Rish K Pai 1Douglas J Hartman 2Claudia Ramos Rivers 3Miguel Regueiro 4Marc Schwartz 3David G Binion 3Reetesh K Pai 5 , Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Oct;18(11):2510-2517.e5.

Histologic evidence of UC activity, including small numbers of neutrophils in the colonic mucosa, is the only factor independently associated with use of systemic corticosteroids. Complete resolution of neutrophil-associated inflammation should be a target for treatment of UC.

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Therapeutic depletion of myeloid lineage leukocytes in patients with generalized pustular psoriasis indicates a major role for neutrophils in the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis

Shigaku Ikeda 1Hidetoshi Takahashi 2Yasushi Suga 3Hikaru Eto 4Takafumi Etoh 5Keiko Okuma 6Kazuo Takahashi 7Takeshi Kanbara 8Mariko Seishima 9Akimichi Morita 10Yasutomo Imai 11Takuro Kanekura 12

J Am Acad Dermatol 2013 Apr;68(4):609-617. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2012.09.037. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Background: Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by fever, erythema, and neutrophilic pustules over large areas of the skin. GPP does not respond well to pharmacologic intervention. Objective: We sought to assess efficacy of selectively depleting the myeloid lineage leukocytes in patients with GPP. Methods: Fifteen patients with persistent moderate to severe GPP despite conventional therapy were included. Eligible patients had more than 10% of their skin area covered by pustules. Treatment with oral etretinate, cyclosporine, methotrexate, prednisolone, and topical prednisolone/vitamin D3 was continued if had been initiated well in advance of study entry. Five sessions of adsorptive granulocyte and monocyte apheresis (GMA) with the Adacolumn (JIMRO Co Ltd, Takasaki, Japan) were administered (1 session/wk over 5 weeks) to selectively deplete Fcγ receptor and complement receptor bearing leukocytes. Efficacy was assessed by measuring the skin areas covered by pustules at baseline and 2 weeks after the last GMA session. Results: One patient did not complete the first GMA session. Based on the GPP severity scores relative to entry, the overall scores improved (n = 14, P = .0027), and the area of erythroderma (P = .0042), pustules (P = .0031), and edema (P = .0014) decreased. Likewise, Dermatology Life Quality Index improved (P = .0016), reflecting better daily function and quality of life. Twelve patients were judged as responders (85.7%), and 10 patients maintained the clinical response for 10 weeks after the last GMA session without any change in medication. Limitations: This study was unblinded and without a placebo arm. Conclusion: GMA in this clinical setting was safe and effective, suggested a major role for granulocytes/monocytes in the immunopathogenesis of GPP.

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Granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis as an effective treatment for Reiter disease

J L Cabriada 1E DomènechN IbargoyenV HernándezJ ClofentD GinardI Gutiérrez-IbarluzeaJ Hinojosa, J clin. Exp.dermatology 2012 (37),3, 241-244

Reiter disease (RD) is characterized by a triad of sterile arthritis, urethritis and conjunctivitis. The conditions occur concomitantly or sequentially, and are associated with mucocutaneous features such as circinate balanitis and stomatitis. Arthritis usually occurs in attacks followed by recovery, but it sometimes progresses to permanent damage of the affected joints. Because the symptoms of this disorder are attributable to activated neutrophils, we assessed the efficacy of granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis (GCAP) in a 73-year-old man with RD who had skin rashes on his penis, scrotum and right hand, with severe arthralgia. The patient’s skin rash and joint pain responded dramatically to five sessions of GCAP delivered at intervals of 5 days. We present a detailed description of the patient and discuss the mechanisms of GCAP, and suggest that GCAP may be useful for treating RD.

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Treating ulcerative colitis by Adacolumn therapeutic leucocytapheresis: clinical efficacy and safety based on surveillance of 656 patients in 53 centres in Japan

T Hibi 1Y SameshimaY SekiguchiY HisatomeF MaruyamaK MoriwakiC ShimaA R SaniabadiT Matsumoto

Dig Liver Dis. 2009 Aug;41(8):570-7. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2008.11.020. Epub 2009 Feb 10.

Background/aim: The Adacolumn selectively depletes granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages, which are thought to be part of the immunopathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. This work aims at evaluating the safety and clinical efficacy of the Adacolumn in patients with ulcerative colitis in large population-based data sets. Methods: The Adacolumn post marketing surveillance in Japan was undertaken on 697 patients in 53 medical institutions over 7 years from 29 October 1999 to 28 October 2006. Clinical efficacy and safety data were provided by patients’ physicians in the participating institutes. Results: Safety was evaluated in all the 697 patients and efficacy in 656 patients. At entry, 92% of the patients were on salicylates, 74% on prednisolone and only 9% on immunomodulators. Approximately 40% of patients had severe ulcerative colitis and over 70% had ulcerative colitis that was refractory to conventional medications. There was no serious adverse events; mild to moderate adverse events were seen in 7.7% of the patients. The overall response (remission or significantly improved) was 77.3%; the remission rate based on clinical activity index was 71.1%, while 17.1% remained unchanged and 5.6% worsened. Patients were subgrouped into severe, moderate and mild ulcerative colitis based on clinical activity index (n=578), the response rates were 63.2%, 65.7% and 80.4%, respectively (P<0.001). Endoscopic assessment of efficacy showed very significant mucosal healing, Matts’ endoscopic index improved from 3.2+/-0.04 to 2.1+/-0.7 (n=219, P<0.001); reduction in prednisolone dose (P<0.0001); leucocyte count (n=358, P<0.0001) and C-reactive protein (n=314, P<0.0001). Patients who received > or =6 Adacolumn sessions (n=319) did better than patients who received < or =5 sessions (n=188, P=0.004) and multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that baseline granulocyte count was the strongest predictor of clinical response to Adacolumn (P=0.0191, odds ratio 1.151). Conclusion: This post marketing surveillance provides the largest ever efficacy and safety data on the Adacolumn therapeutic leucocytapheresis in patients with ulcerative colitis. As a non-pharmacologic treatment for patients with active ulcerative colitis most of whom were refractory to conventional drug therapy, the observed efficacy was very significant. Baseline granulocyte count was convincingly an independent predictor of clinical response.

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