To evaluate the changes of serum cytokines levels after fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC) and the correlation with UC disease activity.
Patients with active UC who meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited, and received FMT from a single donor for three times with an interval of 2-3 months. Serum samples were collected before every FMT. Clinical responses to FMT were assessed according to the criteria of Mayo score. 41 serum cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were quantitatively detected. Changes in serum cytokines levels after FMT and their correlation with CRP, ESR and Mayo scores were investigated.
16 active UC patients were enrolled, and 14(87.5%) patients achieved clinical response to FMT. Compared with those before FMT, serum concentrations of IL-1Ra, IL-6, IP-10 and ENA-78 decreased significantly after the second FMT (P < 0.05), and serum concentrations of MEC, VCAM-1 and G-CSF decreased significantly after both the first and second FMT (P < 0.05). Serum levels of IL-6, IL-1Ra and VCAM-1 were all significantly positively correlated with CRP and ESR. Serum level of IP-10 was significantly positively correlated with CRP, ESR and Mayo score. Serum level of G-CSF was significantly positively correlated with Mayo score.
FMT may play a therapeutic role partly through modulating the host immune response. IL-6, IL-1Ra, IP-10, VCAM-1 and G-CSF may be biomarkers to evaluate the effect of FMT on UC.

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