Circulating levels of transforming growth factor-β1 and lymphokines among children with hemolytic uremic syndrome

François Proulx, Catherine Litalien, Jean P. Turgeon, Michelle M. Mariscalco, Ernest Seidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) cause hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to compare the circulating levels of transforming growth factor-β 1 (TGF-β1), T helper (T(H))1 (interferon [IFN]-γ, interleukin [IL]-2), and T(H)2- associated lymphokines (IL-4, IL-13) in children with uncomplicated Escherichia coli 0157:H7 HC and patients who developed HUS. Circulating levels of IL-2, IL-4, and IL-13 were undetectable, and those of IFN-γ, were low and comparable among groups. Concentrations of TGF-β1 were higher in children with uncomplicated 0157:H7 HC than among those who developed HUS (934 ± 680 versus 514 ± 497 pg/mL, respectively; P < 0.04). The circulating levels of TGF-β1 were also higher among children who did not take antidiarrheal agents (P < 0.008) and those who have been immediately discharged from the emergency room (P < 0.03). Our results did not show an imbalanced T(H)1/T(H)2-associated lymphokine response during the development of HUS. Increased circulating levels of TGF-β1 in children with milder 0157:H7 or uncomplicated HC most likely reflect appropriate intestinal tissue repair mechanisms rather than a remote systemic endocrine effect on the kidneys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Child
  • Cytokines
  • Escherichia coli
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
  • Interleukins (IL)
  • Transforming growth factor (TGF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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