Background & Aims: Both inflammation and fibrosis may be detected in Crohn's disease (CD). The molecular pattern of Basic Fibroblastic Growth Factor (bFGF) and Syndecan-1 (SD1) expression is altered in stenosing CD, but we do not know what the behaviour of this teamwork factor is in CD in deep remission under treatment with anti-TNFα antibodies. Our aim was to compare the expression of bFGF, SD1 and TNF-α in patients with CD in deep remission under treatment with Infliximab (IFX) or Adalimumab (ADA) and a control group of patients with active CD.

Methods: We assessed the expression of bFGF, SD1 and TNF-α in 10 patients with active CD and in 28 patients with CD in sustained deep remission for at least 6 months. All patients underwent surveillance colonoscopy with biopsies, while receiving maintenance therapy with IFX or ADA. Analysis was conducted by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) in biopsy samples.

Results: We found that bFGF, SD1 and TNF-α were significantly reduced under treatment with anti-TNFα versus controls (p=0.000). bFGF and SD1 expression were similar between IFX and ADA patients (p=0.335 and p=0.289, respectively), while TNF-α was significantly under-expressed in ADA patients (p=0.008).

Conclusions: bFGF, SD1 and TNF-α are significantly reduced in CD patients in deep remission under treatment with anti-TNFα, likely as an expression of optimal control of inflammation. The significance of the TNF-α under-expression in patients under treatment with ADA with respect to those under treatment with IFX should be elucidated in further studies.


adalimumab, basic fibroblastic growth factor, Crohn's disease, infliximab, syndecan 1, tumour necrosis factor α