Research: VARGAS and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 254

Abstract

VARGAS and COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute; 2. Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neurosciences, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute; 3. Department of Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute; 4. Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute; mschnoor@cinvestav.mx applied  the dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis model in mice to test the beneficial effects of a nutritional supplement containing vitamins C and E, L-arginine, and ω3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in humans.

Background

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic relapsing disorders of the intestines. They cause severe problems, such as abdominal cramping, bloody diarrhoea, and weight loss, in affected individuals. Unfortunately, there is no cure yet, and treatments only aim to alleviate symptoms. Current treatments include anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs that may cause severe side effects.

Methodology

This warrants the search for alternative treatment options, such as nutritional supplements, that do not cause side effects. Before their application in clinical studies, such compounds must be rigorously tested for effectiveness and security in animal models. A reliable experimental model is the dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis model in mice, which reproduces many of the clinical signs of ulcerative colitis in humans. We recently applied this model to test the beneficial effects of a nutritional supplement containing vitamins C and E, L-arginine, and ω3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).

Results

We analyzed various disease parameters and found that this supplement was able to ameliorate oedema formation, tissue damage, leukocyte infiltration, oxidative stress, and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to an overall improvement in the disease activity index. In this article, we explain in detail the correct application of nutritional supplements using the DSS colitis model in C57Bl/6 mice, as well as how disease parameters such as histology, oxidative stress, and inflammation are assessed.

Conclusion

Analyzing the beneficial effects of different diet supplements may then eventually open new avenues for the development of alternative treatment strategies that alleviate IBD symptoms and/or that prolong the phases of remission without causing severe side effects.

References

Vargas Robles H1, Castro Ochoa KF1, Nava P2, Silva Olivares A3, Shibayama M3, Schnoor M4. Analyzing Beneficial Effects of Nutritional Supplements on Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Functions During Experimental Colitis. J Vis Exp. (119). doi: 10.3791/55095. Jan 5 2017.

Comment

The above research showed that nutritional supplement containing vitamins C and E, L-arginine, and ω3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were clinically beneficial and that may open new treatment options to alleviate IBD symptoms.

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