Increased disease activity in eNOS-deficient mice in experimental colitis

M. Sasaki, S. Bharwani, P. Jordan, J. W. Elrod, M. B. Grisham, T. H. Jackson, D. J. Lefer, J. Steven Alexander

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Oral dextran sodium sulfate (DSS, 3%) produces experimental colitis with many features of human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), (leukocyte extravasation, cachexia, and histopathology). Previous studies suggest that the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in blood cells or in the endothelium contribute to this injury. However, until now no study has been performed to directly evaluate the role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in IBD. We compared disease activity in wild-type (eNOS+/+) and eNOS-deficient (eNOS-/-) mice in the DSS model of colitis. Administration of DSS induced weight loss, stool blood, and overt histopathology in both mouse strains. Disease activity was dramatically increased in eNOS-/- mice compared to wild types. Histologically, eNOS-deficient mice had greater leukocyte infiltration, gut injury, and expressed higher levels of the mucosal addressin, MAdCAM-1. These results demonstrate that eNOS plays an important role in limiting injury to the intestine during experimental colitis and altered eNOS content and/or activity may contribute to human IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1679-1687
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Free radicals
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nitric oxide
  • eNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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