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BackgroundStudies of the mucosal transcriptomic landscape have given new insight into the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recently, the predictive biomarker potential of gene expression signatures has been explored. To further investigate the mucosal gene expression in IBD, we recruited a cohort of treatment naïve patients and compared them to both symptomatic and healthy controls.MethodsAltogether, 323 subjects were included: Crohn's disease (N = 75), ulcerative colitis (N = 87) and IBD unclassified (N = 3). Additionally, there were two control groups: symptomatic controls (N = 131) and healthy controls (N = 27). Mucosal biopsies were collected during ileocolonoscopy and gene expression in inflamed and non-inflamed mucosa was explored. Gene expression profiling was performed using Agilent G3 Human Gene Expression 860K v3 One-Color microarray. We recorded information about treatment escalation to anti-TNF agents or surgery, and anti-TNF response, to explore predictive opportunities of the mucosal transcriptome.ResultsGene expression profiles in symptomatic controls in whom IBD had been excluded resembled that of IBD patients and diverged from that of healthy controls. In non-inflamed Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, gene set enrichment analysis revealed dysregulation of pathways involved in basic cellular biological processes. Mitochondria-associated pathways were dysregulated both in non-inflamed and inflamed Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (>2.6 normalized enrichment scores ConclusionNon-inflamed samples are probably superior to inflamed samples when exploring gene expression signatures in IBD and might reveal underlying mechanisms central for disease initiation. The gene expression signatures of the control groups were related to if they were symptomatic or not, which may have important implications for future study designs.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical and experimental gastroenterology

Publication Date





5 - 25


Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


IBD-CHARACTER consortium