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Ion Transport Basis of Diarrhea, Paneth Cell Metaplasia, and Upregulation of Mechanosensory Pathway in Anti-CD40 Colitis Mice.

BACKGROUND: Anti-Cluster of differentiation (CD)-40-induced colitis, driven by innate inflammatory responses in the intestine, is a potent animal model exhibiting IBD pathophysiology including diarrhea. However, the ion transport basis of diarrhea and some key mucosal pathways (Paneth cells, stem cell niche, and mechanosensory) in this model have not been investigated.

METHODS: Mucosal scrapings and intestinal tissue from control and CD40 antibody (150 µg) treated Rag2-/- mice were examined for gut inflammation, Paneth cell numbers, expression of key transporters, tight/adherens junction proteins, stem cell niche, and mechanosensory pathway via hematoxylin and eosin staining, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting.

RESULTS: Compared with control, anti-CD40 antibody treatment resulted in a significant loss of body weight (P < .05) and diarrhea at day 3 postinjection. Distal colonic tissues of anti-CD40 mice exhibited increased inflammatory infiltrates, higher claudin-2 expression, and appearance of Paneth cell-like structures indicative of Paneth cell metaplasia. Significantly reduced expression (P < .005) of downregulated in adenoma (key Cl- transporter), P-glycoprotein/multidrug resistantance-1 (MDR1, xenobiotic transporter), and adherens junction protein E-cadherin (~2-fold P < .05) was also observed in the colon of anti-CD40 colitis mice. Interestingly, there were also marked alterations in the stem cell markers and upregulation of the mechanosensory YAP-TAZ pathway, suggesting the activation of alternate regeneration pathway post-tissue injury in this model.

CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate that the anti-CD40 colitis model shows key features of IBD observed in the human disease, hence making it a suitable model to investigate the pathophysiology of ulcerative colitis (UC).

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