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IBD Models: Proven Pathways to Research Success

Our first webinar delved into models of inflammatory bowel disease, specifically focusing on DSS-induced acute colitis and adoptive T-cell transfer-mediated colitis.

Maintaining gut health relies on intricate communication between the intestinal microbiome, intestinal epithelium, and mucosal immune system. The gut-brain and gut-liver axes further contribute to this dynamic relationship, influenced by factors like stress, antibiotics, infection, dietary changes, genetic mutations, and epigenetic variations.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an umbrella term for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, involves inappropriate mucosal immunity, sharing clinical symptoms but differing in disease presentation. Crohn’s can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, while ulcerative IBD prevalence is increasing globally.

Current treatments are not curative, making surgical intervention common. New classes of agents offer hope, but research and innovation remain essential. Epistem plays a crucial role by providing four preclinical models for IBD research, focusing on DSS-induced acute colitis and adoptive T-cell transfer-mediated colitis.

The clinical symptoms observed in these models mirror some of those in human IBD. They both exhibit typical epithelial changes in the large bowel, such as hyperplasia erosion, and ulceration, together with a mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate. Common clinical symptoms such as a failure to thrive or body weight loss and soft stool are also observed.

Routinely, the DSS-induced acute colitis models uses C57BL/6J mice with 2% DSS administered for seven days. This causes disruption of the epithelial barrier and subsequent inflammatory activation. Cyclosporine proves effective in ameliorating the disease, and results in delayed symptom acceleration.

T cell transfer-mediated colitis, established over 30 years ago, involves transferring naïve CD4 T cells to immunocompromised mice. This leads to inflammatory changes in the large bowel. This model responds to various therapeutic agents currently used in IBD treatment.

Anti-IL-12/23 IgG shows strong performance a reference item, preventing body weight loss and lessening diarrhoea onset, together with a reduction in the pathological changes occurring in the bowel. Long-term model reproducibility has been demonstrated.

In conclusion, acute and chronic colitis models faithfully mimic various aspects of human IBD, providing valuable insights. Epistem supports these studies with in-house services, including flow cytometry, cytokine analysis, ELISAs, permeability assays, and histological and image analysis. The webinar offers a comprehensive overview of IBD models, emphasizing the need for ongoing research and innovation in this field.

To watch the full webinar, click here.