Non-lymphoid and lymphoid cells in acute, chronic and relapsing experimental colitis

M. J.H.J. Palmen, L. A. Dieleman, M. B. Van Der Ende, A. Uyterlinde, A. S. Pena, S. G.M. Meuwissen, E. P. Van Rees

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In rodents, intracolonic administration of ethanol 30% induces an acute colitis, while administration of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (TNBS) in ethanol induces a longer lasting colitis. In the acute and chronic stages of experimental colitis, lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells were studied in the colon by immunohistochemistry. During the acute inflammation a high damage score of the colon was observed, which was related to an increase in the number of macrophages and granulocytes. Also a change in distributional patterns of macrophage subpopulations was found. The chronic stage of TNBS-ethanol-induced colitis was characterized by an increase in the number of lymphocytes, especially T cells. These data suggest that macrophages and granulocytes are important in the acute phase of experimental colitis, while lymphocytes play a pivotal role in the chronic stage. As most inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients have relapses during the chronic disease, we attempted to induce a relapse during experimental colitis by giving a second i.p. or s.c. dose of TNBS. This resulted in increased damage scores of the colon, new areas of ulceration and a further increase in macrophage numbers. No effect on the number of granulocytes was seen. These results indicate that it is possible to mimic relapses in experimental colitis by a second administration of TNBS, and suggest that the rats had been sensitized by the first dose of TNBS, given into the colon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and experimental immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • TNBS
  • colitis
  • immunohistochemistry
  • rat

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