Purpose: The development of diverticuli may represent defects in collagen vascular tissue integrity possibly from a genetic predisposition. We evaluated the tissue expression of wound healing genes in sigmoid tissue from youthful patients undergoing surgery for diverticulitis and thus would more likely suffer from a genetic predisposition (SD mean age 39 ± 0.9) versus controls in the form of patients over the age of 50 (mean age 52.9 ± 10.5 years) without evidence of diverticular disease. Methods: The mRNA expression of 84 genes associated with the extracellular matrix, cellular adhesion, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, and signal transduction was evaluated in 16 SD and 15 control tissues using a Qiagen™ Wound Healing Array. Vitronectin, the gene protein with the highest potential significance on raw analysis, was further investigated using a Taqman assay with an additional 11 SD (total n = 27) and four control (total n = 19) samples. Statistics were by Student’s t and Mann-Whitney tests with Bonferroni correction. Results: No significant differences in mRNA expression between the SD and control tissue in the 84 measured genes were demonstrated after correction. Vitronectin mRNA expression was downregulated 2.7-fold in SD tissue vs. tissue from non-neoplastic control patients (p = 0.001 raw/0.08 corrected). However, on vitronectin TaqMan analysis, no difference in expression was seen in SD vs. all controls or in all subset comparisons. Conclusions: The lack of significant alteration in mRNA expression of traditionally associated wound healing genes/proteins in young SD patients suggests that such genes play a minor role in the genetic predisposition to youthful diverticulitis.
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