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Dextran sulfate sodium-induced mild chronic colitis induced cognitive impairment accompanied by inhibition of neuronal maturation in adolescent mice.

INTRODUCTION: Epidemiological studies indicated that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis as its two main types, is associated with dementia. However, little is known about how adolescents with IBD will affect their cognitive ability as adults. The hippocampus, which is crucial for memory and adult neurogenesis, is closely associated with modulation of cognitive processes. Using a low kDa dextran sulfate sodium (DSS, 5 kDa)-induced chronic colitis (mild chronic colitis) mice model in adolescent mice, we investigated the effects of mild chronic colitis on cognitive functions and hippocampal neurogenesis from adolescent mice to adult mice.

METHODS: We induced DSS-induced mild chronic colitis in C57BL/6J male mice by multiple-cycle administration of 1%-2% DSS in autoclaved drinking water. Mice were subjected to novel-object recognition and Y-maze tests. Neurogenesis markers and neuroinflammation-related proteins in the hippocampus of mice were measured. Tight junction proteins in the colon of mice were measured.

RESULTS: Mild chronic colitis induced cognitive impairment and decreased adult neurogenesis. Notably, we found a positive correlation with the protein levels between tight junction protein, ZO-1, in the colon and mature neuron marker, NeuN, in the hippocampus. Moreover, mild chronic colitis leads to hippocampal neuroinflammation in adolescent mice.

CONCLUSION: Our findings provide new evidence of the association between IBD and dementia risk.

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