Evidence link bacterial enterotoxins to apparent crypt-cell like cells (CCLCs), and Alpha Defensin 5 (DEFA5) expansion in the colonic mucosa of Crohn’s colitis disease (CC) patients. These areas of ectopic ileal metaplasia, positive for Paneth cell (PC) markers are consistent with diagnosis of CC. Retrospectively, we: 1. Identified 21 patients with indeterminate colitis (IC) between 2000–2007 and were reevaluation their final clinical diagnosis in 2014 after a followed-up for mean 8.7±3.7 (range, 4–14) years. Their initial biopsies were analyzed by DEFA5 bioassay. 2. Differentiated ulcer-associated cell lineage (UACL) analysis by immunohistochemistry (IHC) of the CC patients, stained for Mucin 6 (MUC6) and DEFA5. 3. Treated human immortalized colonic epithelial cells (NCM460) and colonoids with pure DEFA5 on the secretion of signatures after 24hr. The control colonoids were not treated. 4. Treated colonoids with/without enterotoxins for 14 days and the spent medium were collected and determined by quantitative expression of DEFA5, CCLCs and other biologic signatures. The experiments were repeated twice. Three statistical methods were used: (i) Univariate analysis; (ii) LASSO; and (iii) Elastic net. DEFA5 bioassay discriminated CC and ulcerative colitis (UC) in a cohort of IC patients with accuracy. A fit logistic model with group CC and UC as the outcome and the DEFA5 as independent variable differentiator with a positive predictive value of 96 percent. IHC staining of CC for MUC6 and DEFA5 stained in different locations indicating that DEFA5 is not co-expressed in UACL and is therefore NOT the genesis of CC, rather a secretagogue for specific signature(s) that underlie the distinct crypt pathobiology of CC. Notably, we observed expansion of signatures after DEFA5 treatment on NCM460 and colonoids cells expressed at different times, intervals, and intensity. These factors are key stem cell niche regulators leading to DEFA5 secreting CCLCs differentiation ‘the colonic ectopy ileal metaplasia formation’ conspicuously of pathogenic importance in CC.
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