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Alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2-M) has been investigated in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and compared with normal control subjects. During an active phase of either disease, serum concentrations of alpha 2-M fall but no other relationship with clinical features was found. The proportion of circulating mononuclear cells bearing alpha 2-M on their surface in patients with inflammatory bowel disease did not differ from normal controls. Alpha 2-M was not detected in rectal tissue from either the patients or control subjects. The fall in alpha 2-M in patients with active disease was unexpected. Protein loss from the inflamed intestine is unlikely to be the cause and metabolic studies will be needed to elucidate synthetic and catabolic rates.


Journal article


J Clin Lab Immunol

Publication Date





53 - 57


Colitis, Ulcerative, Crohn Disease, Humans, Leukocytes, Receptors, Immunologic, Rectum, alpha-Macroglobulins