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Bacteria penetrate the inner mucus layer before inflammation in the dextran sulfate colitis model.

Journal article
Authors Malin E V Johansson
Jenny K Gustafsson
Karolina E Sjöberg
Joel Petersson
Lena Holm
Henrik Sjövall
Gunnar C. Hansson
Published in PloS one
Volume 5
Issue 8
Pages e12238
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages e12238
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Animals, Bacteria, metabolism, Colitis, chemically induced, metabolism, microbiology, pathology, Colon, microbiology, Dextran Sulfate, pharmacology, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Humans, Intestinal Mucosa, metabolism, microbiology, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Permeability, Time Factors
Subject categories Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)


Protection of the large intestine with its enormous amount of commensal bacteria is a challenge that became easier to understand when we recently could describe that colon has an inner attached mucus layer devoid of bacteria (Johansson et al. (2008) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 15064-15069). The bacteria are thus kept at a distance from the epithelial cells and lack of this layer, as in Muc2-null mice, allow bacteria to contact the epithelium. This causes colitis and later on colon cancer, similar to the human disease Ulcerative Colitis, a disease that still lacks a pathogenetic explanation. Dextran Sulfate (DSS) in the drinking water is the most widely used animal model for experimental colitis. In this model, the inflammation is observed after 3-5 days, but early events explaining why DSS causes this has not been described.

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