Impaired intestinal epithelial barrier is highly affected in inflammatory bowel disease. Transmembrane collagens connecting the epithelial cells to the extracellular matrix have an important role in epithelial cell homeostasis. Thus, we sought to determine whether the transmembrane type 23 collagen could serve as a surrogate marker for disease activity in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis..
In the acute and chronic dextran sulfate sodium-induced rat colitis model, the PRO-C23 serum levels were significantly increased after colitis and returned to normal levels after disease remission. Serum levels of PRO-C23 were elevated in Crohn’s disease (p < 0.05) and ulcerative colitis (p < 0.001) patients with active disease compared to healthy donors. PRO-C23 differentiated healthy donors from ulcerative colitis (area under the curve: 0.81, p = 0.0009) and Crohn’s disease (area under the curve: 0.70, p = 0.0124). PRO-C23 differentiated ulcerative colitis patients with active disease from those in remission (Area under the curve: 0.75, p = 0.0219) and Crohn’s disease patients with active disease from those in remission (area under the curve: 0.68, p = 0.05).
PRO-C23 was elevated in rats with active colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease patients with active disease. Therefore, PRO-C23 may be used as a surrogate marker for monitoring disease activity in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.