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Epidermal growth factor and gastrin in scleroderma/CREST syndrome.

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:56pm

By Jiménez-Balderas F. and Colleague


The objective of this study was to determine levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and gastrin (GA) in saliva, serum, and urine in scleroderma (Scl) and CREST syndrome.


EGF and GA levels were measured by radioimmunoassay in saliva, serum and urine in 10 patients (51 years, median; range, 35-66 years); 9 females and 1 male with Scl, 3 females with CREST syndrome, and 18 age- and sex-matched controls, 17 females and 1 male free of any systemic inflammatory disease.


In serum, the EGF was lower in Scl/CREST than controls (p = 0.02), while GA serum concentrations were higher in Scl/CREST (p = 0.02). In urine, EGF in Scl/CREST was slightly lower than controls (p = NS) and GA concentrations were higher than controls (p = 0.03). In saliva, the EGF levels in Scl/CREST were also slightly lower than controls (p = NS), while GA concentrations in both Scl/CREST and controls were not different (p = NS).


Low concentrations of EGF in serum probably play a role in the pathogenesis of Scl/CREST. GA concentration can be increased as a consequence of the low levels of EGF because of the structural homology of this peptide with urogastrone, a GA inhibitor factor.

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