Oncostatin M (OSM) is a member of the IL-6 cytokine family that plays a role in a number of homeostatic and pathophysiological processes. OSM promotes tissue repair and remodelling but also regulates growth of different cancer cells.
Upregulation of Oncostatin M promotes skin and lung inflammation, atherosclerosis, as well as several forms of cancer.
In Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients are often treated with anti-TNFα therapy such as Infliximab or Adalimumab. However, 40 % of patients do not respond to TNFα inhibitors at all (primary non-response) or develop therapeutic resistance over time (secondary/ Loss of response (LOR)). Besides its other functions, OSM and its receptor OSMR are also involved in maintaining inflammation in the gut. Both are upregulated in the mucosa of IBD patients and influence the later stages of the inflammatory response in particular.
High levels of OSM prior to anti-TNFα therapy correlate with an increased risk of primary non-response. The amount of OSM in the gut therefore seems to be a predictive biomarker of anti-TNFα treatment failure in IBD patients and could be useful as a diagnostic tool for early stratification of patients to predict the efficacy of treatment.