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DSS-Induced Acute and Chronic Mediated Colitis

The Benefits of Using the DSS-Mediated Model for IBD Research

The Dextran Sulphate Sodium (DSS)-mediated model is commonly used to study inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in rodents. This model can be classified into two types: acute and chronic. DSS is a chemical compound that causes damage to the colonic epithelial cells, leading to inflammation and ulceration of the colon. This model mimics many features of human IBD, both acute and chronic conditions, making it a valuable tool for investigating the underlying mechanisms of the disease and developing new therapeutic approaches. These chemically-induced colitis models exhibit components of the innate and adaptive immunity and is most responsive to immunosuppressive agents.

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The DSS-mediated model of IBD is a valuable tool for investigating the pathogenesis of IBD and developing new therapeutic approaches.

Acute DSS Model

Colitis is induced by administering DSS in the drinking water. This model typically runs for 7 days and is characterised by an acute diarrhoeal response, mucosal bleeding and delayed body weight loss. Colitis is defined by discontinuous lesions in the large bowel with areas of epithelial crypt loss, ulceration and infiltration of myeloid and lymphoid cells into the mucosa.


Chronic DSS Model
The DSS-induced model of colitis can also be modified to offer a chronic version using repeated cycles of exposure to DSS.


Primary Readouts

  • Large bowel histopathology

Further Readouts

  • Large bowel weight : length ratio
  • Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence
  • Physiological
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhoea severity
  • Mucosal bleeding
  • FACS analysis of inflammatory cell response (flow cytometry)
  • Multiplex analysis of serum and tissue cytokines
  • Protein expression
  • Gene expression
  • Intestinal permeability assay (FITC Dextran)
  • Fecal Lipocalin (Lcn-2) assay

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