Author(s): Nakano S, Ohara S, Kubota T, Saigenji K, Hotta K
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Abstract Depletion of goblet cells (the main mucin-producing cells in the colon) is one of the most reliable histological characteristics of ulcerative colitis, whereas a major symptom of this disease is bloody diarrhea containing a large amount of mucus. The discrepancy between these phenomena was investigated in a time-course study in rats with experimental colitis induced by treatment with oral dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) for 1, 3, or 5 days. Biochemical analysis showed a reduction in mucin content in the distal side of the colon that was proportional to the duration of DSS administration. In the proximal side of the colon, however, there was a significant increase in mucin content already on the first day of treatment with DSS. This increase in colonic mucin content continued for the 5 days of treatment. In the distal side, both sulfomucin and sialomucin decreased proportionally to the duration of DSS administration. In the proximal side, there was an increase in high iron diamine-Alcian blue-positive mucins, and confirming the proliferation of goblet cells. The proliferated glands were predominantly sialylated. Goblet cell depletion and an increase in mucin production occurred in different parts of the colon. This phenomenon may be a type of compensatory function of colon tissue in response to the localized decrease of mucin production in certain portions of the colon.
This article was published in J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology