Inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic inflammatory disorders, have been strongly linked with an increased risk of the development of colorectal cancer. Understanding the etiology of these diseases is pivotal for the improvement of currently available strategies to fight against inflammatory bowel disease, and more importantly, to prevent colorectal cancer. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) has been known to be a transcriptional factor which plays a crucial role in cytoprotection against inflammation, as well as oxidative and electrophilic stresses. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Nrf2 in the regulation of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced experimental colitis in mice. Nrf2-deficient mice were found to be more susceptible to DSS-induced colitis as shown by the increased severity of colitis following 1 week of oral administration of 1% DSS. The increased severity of colitis in Nrf2(-/-) mice was found to be associated with decreased expression of antioxidant/phase II detoxifying enzymes including heme-oxygenase-1, NAD(P)H-quinone reductase-1, UDP-glucurosyltransferase 1A1, and glutathione S-transferase Mu-1. In addition, proinflammatory mediators/cytokines such as COX-2, inducible nitric oxide, interleukin 1β, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor α. were significantly increased in the colonic tissues of Nrf2(-/-) mice compared with their wild-type (Nrf2-t-/+) counterparts. In summary, we show for the first time that mice lacking Nrf2 are more susceptible to DSS-induced colitis. Our data suggests that Nrf2 could play an important role in protecting intestinal integrity, through regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and induction of phase II detoxifying enzymes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research