Connective Tissue Disease and Crohn's Disease

KevCelt kevcelt at
Thu Jan 19 19:50:51 EST 1995

Subject: Re: Connective Tissue Disease and Crohn's Disease
From: frank at (Frank Hay)
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 07:44:24 GMT
Message-ID: <frank-1901950744240001 at>

In article <Pine.A32.3.91.950112160431.23385F-100000 at>,
glickman at (Lara Glickman) wrote:

> I would really appreciate it if you could tell me the details on a 
> connection between a connective tissue disease (such as SLE) and Crohn's

> disease.  Are  there rheumatological manifestations of Crohn's?  Are 
> there any neurological manifestations?
> thank you very much please respond it's very important.

:In rheumatoid arthritis the IgG antibodies show an abnormality in
: glycosylation. Sugar chains are attached to the Fc end of the antibody
molecule at asparagine 297. These branched biantennary sugars normally
:terminate in galactose but in RA patients the galactose is frequently
:missing and the next sugar down the chain, N-acetylglucosamine becomes
:terminal instead. This same abormality occurs in Crohn's disease.
:Interestingly during pregnancy many patients with RA improve and in
:parallel there sugars return to normal. The sugar abnormality seems to
:related to low activity of the galactosyl transferase enzyme in the
:B-lymphocytes responsible for making antibodies.

:Incidentally, does anyone know whether Crohn's disease patients improve
:they become pregnant?

The clinical consequences of pregnancy in Crohn's disease is variable. In
roughly a 1/3 of patients the activity of the crohn's diminishes; 1/3 it
stays unchanged and in 1/3 it gets worse.

I find it hard to integrate the abnormality of antibody glycosylation
mentioned with the immunopathophysiology of crohns.

Kevin Horgan
Division of Digestive Diseases

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