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Distinct Serum Immune Profiles Define the Spectrum of Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis From the Multicenter Prospective Evaluation of Chronic Pancreatitis for Epidemiologic and Translational Studies (PROCEED) Study

Pancreatitis is a disease continuum, starting with acute pancreatitis (AP) and progressing in some cases to recurrent acute pancreatitis (RAP) and chronic pancreatitis (CP). Currently, there are no approved therapies or early diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers for pancreatitis. The current study examined whether patient serum immune profiling could identify noninvasive biomarkers and provide mechanistic insight into the disease continuum of pancreatitis. Using Olink immunoassay, we assessed the protein levels of 92 immune markers in serum samples from participants enrolled in the Prospective Evaluation of Chronic Pancreatitis for Epidemiologic and Translational Studies (PROCEED) study of the Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes, and Pancreatic Cancer (CPDPC) consortium. Samples (N = 231) were obtained from individuals without pancreatic disease (n = 56) and from those with chronic abdominal pain (CAP) (n = 24), AP (n = 38), RAP (n = 56), and CP (n = 57). A total of 33 immune markers differentiated the combined pancreatitis groups from controls. Immune markers related to interleukin (IL) 17 signaling distinguished CP from AP and RAP. Similarly, the serum level of IL17A and C-C motif chemokine ligand 20 differentiated CP from CAP, suggesting the involvement of T helper 17 cells in CP pathogenesis. The receiver operator characteristic curve with 2 immune markers (IL17A and sulfotransferase 1A1) could differentiate CP from CAP (optimistic area under the curve = 0.78). The macrophage classical activation pathway elevated along the continuum of pancreatitis, suggesting an accumulation of proinflammatory signals over disease progression. Several immune markers were associated with smoking, alcohol, and diabetes status. Immune profiling of serum samples from a large pancreatitis cohort led to identifying distinct immune markers that could serve as potential biomarkers to differentiate the varying pancreatitis disease states. In addition, the finding of IL17 signaling in CP could provide insight into the immune mechanisms underlying disease progression.

Authors: Lee, Bomi;Topazian, Mark;Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes, and Pancreatic Cancer (CPDPC),;et al.

Gastroenterology. 2023 Jul;165(1):173-186. Epub 2023-04-14.

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