University of Oulu

Ulla Nivukoski, Aini Bloigu, Risto Bloigu, Johanna Kultti, Heidi Tuomi, Onni Niemelä, Comparison of serum calprotectin, a marker of neutrophil activation, and other mediators of inflammation in response to alcohol consumption, Alcohol, Volume 95, 2021, Pages 45-50, ISSN 0741-8329,

Comparison of serum calprotectin, a marker of neutrophil activation, and other mediators of inflammation in response to alcohol consumption

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Author: Nivukoski, Ulla1; Bloigu, Aini2; Bloigu, Risto3;
Organizations: 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Research Unit, Seinäjoki Central Hospital and Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, 90014, Finland
3Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-05


Aims: Previous studies have indicated that heavy alcohol intake stimulates inflammation and impairs the body's ability to regulate inflammation. The aim of this study was to compare changes in neutrophil calprotectin and a wide spectrum of other inflammatory mediators in response to heavy alcohol drinking.

Methods: Serum calprotectin (a marker of neutrophil activation), suPAR, CD163, and pro- (IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10, TGF-β) cytokines were measured from 61 alcohol-dependent subjects (46 men, 15 women, mean age 43.6 ± 11.0 years) at the time of admission for detoxification and after 8 ± 2 days of abstinence. These biomarkers were also measured from age- and sex-matched healthy controls representing abstainers or light drinkers. The clinical assessments included detailed clinical interviews on the amounts and patterns of alcohol consumption and assays for biomarkers of alcohol consumption (GGT, CDT, MCV, GGT-CDT) and liver function (AST, ALT).

Results: The subjects with alcohol use disorder showed significantly higher concentrations of serum calprotectin (p < 0.0005), suPAR (p < 0.01), CD163 (p < 0.01), IL-6 (p < 0.0005), IL-8 (p < 0.0005), TNF-α (p < 0.001), and IL-10 (p < 0.0005) than healthy controls. These inflammatory mediators, except for CD163, remained elevated after the 8 ± 2-day period of supervised abstinence, which resulted in significant decreases in the biomarkers of alcohol consumption and indices of liver status. The AUC (0.855) for serum calprotectin in differentiating between the heavy drinkers and healthy controls was equal or equivalent with those of the conventional biomarkers of alcohol consumption (GGT:0.835 or CDT:0.803).

Conclusions: The data indicate that neutrophil calprotectin is released in response to heavy alcohol intake in a sensitive manner and may be associated with perpetuation of inflammation in patients with alcohol use disorder. Serum calprotectin may also prove to be a useful biomarker for inflammatory activity in alcohol-consuming patients.

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Series: Alcohol
ISSN: 0741-8329
ISSN-E: 1873-6823
ISSN-L: 0741-8329
Volume: 95
Pages: 45 - 50
DOI: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2021.06.001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3141 Health care science
Funding: This work was supported in part by Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Seinäjoki Central Hospital and University of Tampere, VTR 6100/3243, the Finnish Foundation for the Promotion of Laboratory Medicine, and the Finnish Society of Clinical Chemistry.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (