Researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta provide insight into the interaction between inflammatory bowel disease and pregnancy.

Cytokines are immune response molecules that are released when inflammation is present within the body. In a research study following 11 healthy pregnant women and 76 pregnant women with IBD throughout pregnancy and peripartum, the levels of various cytokines in the blood were analyzed. Those who had higher levels of two specific types of cytokines, named IL-22 and IL-6, during the first trimester were more likely to experience a disease flare during their pregnancy.

This pilot study contributed important scientific knowledge to the understanding of how pregnancy can affect IBD disease activity and potentially how IBD disease activity can affect pregnancy outcomes.

We thank all study participants, referring clinicians, and laboratory scientists for making this research possible.

Read the full published manuscript.

Richard Y Wu, Karren Xiao, Naomi Hotte, Parul Tandon, Yesmine Elloumi, Lindsy Ambrosio, Garett Dunsmore, Shokrollah Elahi, Karen I Kroeker, Levinus A Dieleman, Karen L Madsen, Vivian Huang. Elevated IL-6 and IL-22 in Early Pregnancy Are Associated with Worse Disease Course in Women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Int J Mol Sci 2022;23(18):10281. doi: 10.3390/ijms231810281