Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Sep 28, 2021; 27(36): 6142-6153
Published online Sep 28, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i36.6142
Urotensin II levels in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Damir Alicic, Dinko Martinovic, Doris Rusic, Piero Marin Zivkovic, Ivana Tadin Hadjina, Marino Vilovic, Marko Kumric, Daria Tokic, Daniela Supe-Domic, Slaven Lupi-Ferandin, Josko Bozic
Damir Alicic, Piero Marin Zivkovic, Ivana Tadin Hadjina, Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital of Split, Split 21000, Croatia
Dinko Martinovic, Marino Vilovic, Marko Kumric, Josko Bozic, Department of Pathophysiology, University of Split School of Medicine, Split 21000, Croatia
Doris Rusic, Department of Pharmacy, University of Split School of Medicine, Split 21000, Croatia
Daria Tokic, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive care, University Hospital of Split, Split 21000, Croatia
Daniela Supe-Domic, Department of Health Studies, University of Split, Split 21000, Croatia
Slaven Lupi-Ferandin, Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital of Split, Split 21000, Croatia
Author contributions: Bozic J was the guarantor and designed the study; Alicic D, Martinovic D, Rusic D, Zivkovic PM, Tadin Hadjina I, Vilovic M, Kumric M, Tokic D, Lupi-Ferandin S and Supe-Domic D participated in the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data and drafted the initial manuscript; Bozic J, Alicic D and Martinovic D revised the article critically for important intellectual content.
Institutional review board statement: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of University Hospital of Split, No. 500-03/17-01/86.
Informed consent statement: All study participants, or their legal guardian, provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There are no conflict of interest to report.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
STROBE statement: The authors have read the STROBE Statement-checklist of items, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the STROBE Statement-checklist of items.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Josko Bozic, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pathophysiology, University of Split School of Medicine, Soltanska 2, Split 21000, Croatia. josko.bozic@mefst.hr
Received: April 27, 2021
Peer-review started: April 27, 2021
First decision: June 13, 2021
Revised: June 17, 2021
Accepted: August 19, 2021
Article in press: August 19, 2021
Published online: September 28, 2021
Research background

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are associated with increased cardiovascular risk and have increased overall cardiovascular burden. On the other hand, urotensin II (UII) is one of the most potent vascular constrictors with immunomodulatory effect that is connected with a number of different cardiometabolic disorders as well. Since the features of IBD includes chronic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, it is plausible to assume that there is connection between increased cardiac risk in IBD and UII.

Research motivation

While a recent study showed that patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) have increased expression of urotensin II receptor in comparison to healthy controls, a larger clinical study regarding UII serum levels in patients with IBD is still missing.

Research objectives

The aim of this study was to compare serum levels of UII between patients with IBD and healthy controls. The additional goal was to investigate the association of serum UII levels with the anthropometric, clinical and biochemical parameters.

Research methods

This study included 50 adult patients with pre-diagnosed IBD (24 patients with UC and 26 patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and 50 healthy, age and gender matched controls. Serum levels of UII were determined using the enzyme immunoassay kit for human UII, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Other parameters were analyzed according to the standard laboratory procedures.

Research results

Analysis has shown that IBD patients have significantly higher concentrations of UII when compared to control subjects (7.57 ± 1.41 vs 1.98 ± 0.69 ng/mL, P < 0.001), while there were no significant differences between CD and UC patients (7.49 ± 1.42 vs 7.65 ± 1.41 ng/mL, P = 0.689). There was a significant positive correlation between serum UII levels and high sensitivity C reactive peptide levels (r = 0.491, P < 0.001), UC Endoscopic Index of Severity (r = 0.425, P = 0.048) and Simple Endoscopic Score for CD (r = 0.466, P = 0.028) scores.

Research conclusions

Our clinical results suggest that UII could be involved in the pathophysiology of IBD, especially in the inflammation severity and disease activity.

Research perspectives

Future larger scale multicenter studies need to clarify the connection between UII and IBD.