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Immunological changes in IBD patients responding to low-dose naltrexone treatment

Immunological changes in IBD patients responding to low-dose naltrexone treatment
Publication Type
Research Type
Reported as
Clinical Trial
February 01, 2012
de Haar C, van der Ent C, Peppelenbosch MP, van der Woude CJ
Erasmus Medical Center

LDN has been shown to improve clinical disease scores and induce mucosal healing in a subset of Crohn's disease patients. Activation of the opioid growth factor - opioid growth factor receptor pathway is suggested to be the mechanism of action. Since this pathway could affect the activity of a variety of leukocytes, we investigated whether LDN treatment affects various immune parameters in IBD patients.

METHODS: Twenty IBD patients not responding to regular medication were treated with LDN (5mg/daily). Peripheral blood was collected before start of treeatment, and after 3 months and 6 months of treatment. Various leucocyte subsets were quantified using flow cytometry.

RESULTS: Of the 20 IBD patients treatment with LDN, 8 (40%) showed clinical response and all are in clinical remission. When comparing responders to non-responders with regard to the changes in leucocyte subsets, there was a striking increase in the CD16+ CD62-L+ CD14- monocyte population in patients responding to LDN therapy. This same population decreased in some of the patients no tresponding to LDN therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: LDN treatment was successful in part of the IBD patients not responding to other medication. Whether the CD16+ CD62-L+ CD14- moncyte population is a direct target of the opiod growth factor - opioid growth factor receptor signaling and therefore directly affected by the LDN treatment needs to be determined.

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