Presence of intestinal Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) DNA is not associated with altered MMP expression in ulcerative colitis
Background: Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is suspected to be a causative agent in human Crohn´s disease (CD). Recent evidence suggests that pathogenic mycobacteria and MAP can induce the expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP), which are the main proteases in the pathogenesis of mucosal ulcerations in inflammatory ... bowel disease (IBD). Within this study we assessed the prevalence of intestinal MAP specific DNA in patients with Crohn´s disease, ulcerative colitis (UC), and healthy controls. We further analysed regulation patterns of MMPs in mucosal tissues of UC patients with and without intestinal MAP DNA detection.Methods: Colonic biopsy samples were obtained from 63 Norwegian and German IBD patients and 21 healthy controls. RNA was quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to study MMP gene expression in both pathological and healthy mucosal specimens. The presence of MAP DNA in colonic mucosa was examined using MAP specific PCR.Results: MAP DNA was detected in 20% of UC patients and 33% of healthy controls but only in 7% of patients with CD. UC patients treated with corticosteroids exhibited a significantly increased frequency of intestinal MAP DNA compared to those not receiving corticosteroids. Expression of MMP-1, -2, -7, -9, -13, -19, -28 and TNF-alpha did not differ between UC patients with presence of intestinal MAP DNA compared to those without. MMP-2, MMP-9 and MMP-13 were significantly decreased in UC patients receiving corticosteroids.Conclusions: The presence of intestinal MAP specific DNA is not associated with altered MMP expression in UC in vivo. Corticosteroids are associated with increased detection of intestinal MAP DNA and decreased expression of certain MMPs. Frequent detection of MAP DNA in healthy controls might be attributable to the wide environmental distribution of MAP and its presence in the food-chain.