Scientific corner

MicroRNA and granulocyte-monocyte adsorption apheresis combotherapy after inadequate response to anti-TNF agents in ulcerative colitis

Esteban Sáez-González MDInés Moret-Tatay PhDGuillermo Bastida MD, PhDMariam Aguas MD, PhDMarisa Iborra MD, PhDPilar Nos MD, PhDBelén Beltrán MD, PhD  J Clin Apher. 2023 38(6); 1-10. doi:10.1002/jca.22101


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, affecting millions of individuals throughout the world, and producing an impaired health-related quality of life. Granulocyte and monocyte apheresis (GMA) is a therapeutic option for UC management to induce remission by selective removal of activated leukocytes from bloodstream. Despite the knowledge of the important role of epigenetics in UC pathogenesis, and in the response to different treatments, nothing is known about the role of microRNAs in GMA therapy in UC patients.


7 consecutively UC patients who started GMA in combo therapy with infliximab were recruited. Peripheral blood samples were taken before the apheresis session, at the start of the induction (S0) and at the end (S10). They were follow-up during the induction phase (10 sessions: 2 sessions for a week during 3 wk and 1 session for a week during 4 wk) of the treatment at a tertiary hospital (Hospital la Fe) and 6 mo after finishing the GMA induction therapy. MiRNA was extracted and analyzed by RT-PCR. R software and GraphPad were used.


Clinical disease activity significantly decreased after induction therapy with GMA (median partial Mayo score 2 (IQR, 1-6) (P < .05). Fecal calprotectin value and CRP value significantly decreased after induction therapy. Five microRNAs modified their expression during GMA (unsupervised analysis): miR-342-3p, miR-215-5p, miR-376c-3p, miR-139-5p, and miR-150-5p. When a sub-analysis was performed in those patients who showed good response to apheresis treatment (n = 5), two microRNAs showed to be implicated: miR-215-5p and miR-365a-3p. These are preliminary but promising and novel results, as it is the first time, to our knowledge that microRNA profiles have been studied in the context of GMA treatment for IBD.

MicroRNA and granulocyte-monocyte adsorption apheresis combotherapy after inadequate response to anti-TNF agents in ulcerative colitis – PubMed (

MicroRNA and granulocyte‐monocyte adsorption apheresis combotherapy after inadequate response to anti‐TNF agents in ulcerative colitis – Sáez‐González – Journal of Clinical Apheresis – Wiley Online Library

Scientific corner

Long-term prognosis of patients with ulcerative colitis treated with cytapheresis therapy

Tetsuro Takayama 1Takanaori KanaiKatsuyoshi MatsuokaSusumu OkamotoTomohisa SujinoYohei MikamiTadakazu HisamatsuTomoharu YajimaYasushi IwaoHaruhiko OgataToshifumi Hibi, J Crohns Colitis. 2013 Mar;7(2):e49-54.

Background: Although accumulating studies in Japan show that cytapheresis (CAP) therapy is safe and effective for the induction of remission of moderate or severe ulcerative colitis (UC), the long-term prognosis of UC patients treated with CAP is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term prognosis of UC patients treated with CAP. Methods: Ninety patients treated previously with CAP and followed for more than 3 years were evaluated. The rates of operation, readmission, and use or dose-up of corticosteroid were analyzed as long-term prognosis. Results: Following the first course of CAP treatment, 64% of patients showed clinical improvement (> 4-point decrease in the clinical activity index (CAI)), and 49% of patients achieved clinical remission (CAI ≤ 4). Longer disease duration and lower age at the first CAP treatment correlated significantly with the therapeutic effects of CAP (p = 0.003 and 0.035, respectively). The rates of operation and readmission were significantly lower in patients who showed previous clinical effects of CAP than in those who did not respond to CAP. The rates of operation and readmission were also significantly lower in patients whose treatment was combined with immunomodulators after the initiation of CAP than in patients who did not use immunomodulators. Importantly, the second course of CAP was also effective in most of the patients who showed a clinical response to the first CAP. Conclusions: Patients who achieve remission after the first CAP therapy may have a good long-term prognosis and a good response to a second CAP therapy even after relapse.

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