Background and Aim: Although basic research has shown that certain cytokines affect gastrointestinal motility, the clinical evidence is lacking. The objective of this study was to explore the association between mucosally expressed cytokines and the esophageal motility function in humans. Methods: We enrolled a total of 57 patients with suspected esophageal motility disorders (EMDs) who underwent high-resolution manometry. Results: The diagnoses of the patients were as follows: normal esophageal motility (n = 25), ineffective esophageal motility (n = 5), esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction (EGJOO; n = 10), distal esophageal spasm (n = 5), achalasia (n = 10), absent contractility (n = 1), and jackhammer esophagus (n = 1). The expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the esophagogastric junction (EGJ) was significantly higher in EGJOO (14.6, 14.0-15.8, n = 10) than in normal esophageal motility (13.3, 12.8-14.1, n = 25); however, there was no difference in the expression of TNF-α between achalasia (13.4, 13.0-14.1, n = 10) and normal esophageal motility (13.3, 12.8-14.1, n = 25). EGJOO was discriminated from achalasia/normal by a linear discriminant analysis (AUC = 0.917). A multivariable regression analysis revealed that interleukin (IL)-13 and IL-23A were predictive of the distal contractile integral, whereas TNF-α and IL-6 were predictive of the basal EGJ pressure. Conclusions: The esophageal motility was associated with mucosally expressed cytokines in humans; these cytokines could be useful targets for the diagnosis and treatment of EMDs.
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