Author(s): Venkatraman A, Ramakrishna BS, Pulimood AB, Patra S, Murthy S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Increased mucosal permeability is an important factor in the genesis of mucosal inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease. This study examined the time course of increased permeability and the effect of butyrate on permeability in experimental colitis in rats. METHODS: Colitis was induced in albino rats by administration of 4\% dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) orally for up to 7 days. Rats were killed sequentially after 1-7 days of DSS feeding and compared with control animals. Distal colon sheets, from normal and DSS rats, were mounted in Ussing chambers. Electric resistance and passive permeation of 14C-mannitol were measured over 90 min. In control and 5-day DSS rats additional permeability measurements were made in the presence of butyrate (25 mmol/l) in the bathing solutions. The permeability of the normal distal colon was measured after addition of DSS in vitro. Sections of colon were examined by light microscopy. The viability of colonocytes, from normal and DSS rat colon, was measured by release of lactate dehydrogenase immediately and during a 60-min incubation after isolation. RESULTS: Focal mild inflammation and shedding of epithelium were noted after 2 days of DSS administration; crypt loss with flattened epithelium in adjacent areas after 5 days; and fibrosis after 7 days. Decreased epithelial cell survival after 60 min of incubation was noted after 1 day of DSS administration, whereas decreased viability at the time of isolation was noted after 2 days of DSS administration (viability, 72.7\% +/- 1.4\%; mean +/- standard error) compared with control (89.3\% +/- 0.8\%) (P < 0.01). Increased permeability was noted after 1 day of DSS administration. Electric resistance (mu omega/cm2/h) was significantly reduced after 1 day of DSS administration to 85.9 +/- 4.6 (mean +/- standard error) compared with control animals (117.2 +/- 2.2; P < 0.001). Serosa-mucosa flux of mannitol (micromol/cm2/h) was also significantly increased after 1 day of DSS feeding (0.169 +/- 0.01) compared with control (0.061 +/- 0.08) (P < 0.01). Electric resistance and mannitol permeability were significantly returned towards normal by the presence of butyrate. DSS added directly to the bathing solution did not significantly alter the colon permeability in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: Increased mucosal permeability is a very early change in colitis induced by DSS, is accompanied by decreased cell survival, and precedes detectable changes in histology. Reversal of increased mucosal permeability by butyrate may explain its utility in the therapy of inflammatory disease of the colon.
This article was published in Scand J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials