New Insights into Inflammatory Bowel Diseases from Proteomic and Lipidomic Studies

Proteomes. 2020 Aug 10;8(3):E18. doi: 10.3390/proteomes8030018.

Serena Longo 1, Marcello Chieppa 2, Luca G Cossa 1, Chiara C Spinelli 1, Marco Greco 3, Michele Maffia 1, Anna M Giudetti 1


Author information

  • 1Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento, via Monteroni 165, 73100 Lecce, Italy.
  • 2National Institute of Gastroenterology "S. de Bellis", Institute of Research, Via Turi, 27, 70013 Castellana Grotte, Italy.
  • 3Department of Mathematics and Physics "Ennio De Giorgi", University of Salento, via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) represent the two main forms of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The exact IBD etiology is not yet revealed but CD and UC are likely induced by an excessive immune response against normal constituents of the intestinal microbial flora. IBD diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms often combined with invasive and costly procedures. Thus, the need for more non-invasive markers is urgent. Several routine laboratory investigations have been explored as indicators of intestinal inflammation in IBD, including blood testing for C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and specific antibodies, in addition to stool testing for calprotectin and lactoferrin. However, none has been universally adopted, some have been well-characterized, and others hold great promise. In recent years, the technological developments within the field of mass spectrometry (MS) and bioinformatics have greatly enhanced the ability to retrieve, characterize, and analyze large amounts of data. High-throughput research allowed enhancing the understanding of the biology of IBD permitting a more accurate biomarker discovery than ever before. In this review, we summarize currently used IBD serological and stool biomarkers and how proteomics and lipidomics are contributing to the identification of IBD biomarkers.

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