Targeting neutrophils in inflammatory bowel disease: revisiting the role of adsorptive granulocyte and monocyte apheresis
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.
The present status and the recent development of the treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases: desirable effect of extracorporeal immunomodulation
The immunological and genetic pathogeneses of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been well elucidated in the recent years. The pharmacologic treatment of IBDs accordingly becomes to focus upon the individual pathologic step (targeting therapy), whereas the therapeutic action is not yet a pinpoint one. It has been known recently that new drugs such as biological immunomodulating agents and anti-inflammatory cytokines have better short-term effects in some respects than the conventional drugs, and they might alter the treatment strategy of IBDs in the near future. The limitation of pharmacologic treatments mainly results from adverse effects of the drugs, i.e. infection susceptibility, oncogenesis, teratogenesis and so forth. The extracorporeal therapy such as leukocytapheresis and photopheresis is reportedly effective for IBDs probably through immunomodulation such as decrease in circulating activated T-lymphocytes and activated granulocytes that play a central role in the pathogenesis of IBD. It can be said that these extracorporeal treatment methods have advantage of rapid action and lack of serious adverse effects to drug therapy.
Current topics on cytapheresis technologies
Cytapheresis has been investigated recently for the treatment of autoimmune related diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis, and so on. A large number of physicians have indicated that patients with autoimmune diseases respond to cytapheresis treatment. The effective mechanism of cytapheresis for immune disorders is still controversial. However, the removal of the leukocyte including granulocyte, lymphocyte, and monocyte may play a crucial role in correcting imbalance of the immune system. A session of cytapheresis including leukocytapheresis (LCAP) and granulocytapheresis (GCAP) may not create a sufficient amount of cell removal for the human body. However, the cell removal can be a trigger of the immunomodulation as the treatment for immune disorder. Furthermore, not only cell removal but also reaction by blood contacting with medical device materials may play a role as an immunomodulation for immune disorders. This review introduces current cytapheresis technologies and attempts to elucidate the effective mechanism of cytapheresis for immune disorders, focused on LCAP and/or GCAP for RA or IBD.
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