Horm Metab Res 2014; 46(06): 445-451
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1374587
Endocrine Care
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Systemic Metabolic Signaling in Acute and Chronic Gastrointestinal Inflammation of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

T. Karrasch
1   Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
,
F. Obermeier
1   Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
,
R. H. Straub
1   Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
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Publikationsverlauf

received 25. September 2013

accepted 26. März 2014

Publikationsdatum:
05. Mai 2014 (online)

Abstract

Acute and chronic intestinal inflammation stimulates innate and adaptive immune systems, thereby increasing energy demand of activated immune cells. Energy regulation by systemically released mediators is of critical importance for homeostasis. We wanted to find out how systemic metabolic mediators are affected during intestinal inflammation. A total of 123 patients suffering from Crohn’s disease (CD), 76 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), and 21 healthy controls were recruited. Patients receiving systemic steroids or therapy regimens including biologicals (anti-TNF) were excluded from the study. Serum levels of IL-6, CRP, insulin, glucose, free fatty acid, and RBP-4 were measured by ELISA and RIA. Intestinal inflammation was accompanied by elevated systemic inflammatory para­meters such as IL-6 and CRP in UC and CD and, concomitantly, with elevated insulin levels and increased insulin/glucose ratio in patients with UC. This indicates insulin resistance in liver, muscle, and fat. In addition, intestinal inflammation was associated with elevated levels of circulating free fatty acids in UC and CD, indicating an activation of the organism’s appeal for energy-rich substrates (energy appeal reaction). RBP-4 serum levels were also high in acute and chronic intestinal inflammation in UC and CD, which can support insulin resistance. The organism’s “energy appeal reaction” in response to acute and chronic inflammation provides free energy in the circulation, which is needed by inflammatory cells. A major mechanism of the redirection program is insulin resistance. New therapeutic strategies might be developed in the future, directly impacting on the storage and utilization of energy-rich fuels.