Aim: To clarify whether serum chemokine and cytokine levels can become useful biological and functional markers to assess the severity of chronic pancreatitis (CP). This study aimed at clarifying whether serum chemokine and cytokine levels can become useful biological and functional markers to assess the severity of CP. Methods: Serum monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), and soluble type fractalkine (s-fractalkine) concentrations were examined in patients with CP (n = 109) and healthy controls (n = 116). Severity of disease was classified in patients with CP by a staging system. Relationships between stage-specific various clinical factors and serum MCP-1, TGF-β1, and s-fractalkine levels were investigated. Furthermore, 57 patients with non-alcoholic CP were similarly evaluated in order to exclude influence of alcohol intake. Results: Patients with CP showed significant higher levels of serum TGF-β1 and s-fractalkine, but not MCP-1, compared to the controls. Serum TGF-β1 in the severe stage and s-fractalkine in the mild and the severe stage of CP significantly increased compared to those of controls. However, it was observed that both TGF-β1 and s-fractalkine levels were affected by alcohol intake. In patients with non-alcoholic CP, serum TGF-β1 showed significant increase in the moderate stage of CP, and serum s-fractalkine revealed significant increase in the early stage of CP. Conclusion: It is suggested that the measurement of serum F-fractalkine is useful to diagnose early-stage CP. Moreover, the combined determination of both, s-fractalkine and TGF-β1, in human sera may be helpful in evaluating the severity status of CP.
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