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DSS-Induced Acute and Chronic Colitis

The Dextran Sulphate Sodium (DSS) Mediated Model Is Commonly Used To Study Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) In Rodents

DSS is a chemical that causes damage to the colonic epithelial cells, leading to inflammation and ulceration. 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.

Why DSS?

These Chemically-Induced Colitis Models Exhibit Components of the Innate and Adaptive Immunity and are Most Responsive To Immunosuppressive Agents

Acute DSS Model

Dextran sulphate is a long-chain carbohydrate molecule which disrupts the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa, resulting in acute colitis. Over a one-week period, it is characterised by an acute diarrhoeal response, mucosal bleeding and body weight loss. The 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
  • 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)
  • ELISA: MPO & Fecal Lipocalin (Lcn-2) assay

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