Troubleshooting in animal models of colitis: The use of a novel electrocautery model

F. H. Mourad, K. A. Barada, B. Noutsi, N. E. Saade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Experimental colitis induced by chemical agents leads to upregulation of inflammatory cytokines in distant unaffected small intestine and to a decrease in nutrient absorption. To preclude any possible proximal diffusion of these chemicals, we designed a novel method for ulcer induction in the colon by electrocautery. Methods: Under light anesthesia, a colonic ulcer was induced in rats by a special electrocautery probe introduced in the descending colon through the rectum allowing the injection of a controlled electrolytic current. A direct current (3-7. mA) was delivered through the electrodes for 30. s and then for another 30. s after reversing the polarity of the electrodes. Then, the probe was moved for a distance of ±0.5 cm and the current injection was repeated. Rats were sacrificed at various time intervals after ulcer induction (3-96. h). Samples from colon and jejunum were taken for histological assessment and determination, by ELISA, of the levels of interleukin-1ββ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α). In other groups of animals, jejunal amino acid absorption was determined in vivo at 24 and 48. h post electrocautery. Results: A colonic ulcer persisted for 72. h after cauterization. A significant upregulation of the levels of different cytokines was observed in the colon and jejunum post cauterization and persisted for at least 48. h. In the jejunum, IL-1α increased from 81±9 to 652±110 (p<0.01) and 243±47 (p<0.05) pg/mg protein at 24 and 48. h, respectively. Similarly, jejunal TNF-α levels increased by approximately 2 folds at 24 and 48. h post ulcer induction (p<0.05). A similar but higher increase in cytokines was observed in the colon. Jejunal alanine absorption (0.2±0.02 μmol/20 min/cm) decreased significantly at 24 and 48. h after colitis induction (0.12±0.01 and 0.14±0.02, respectively; p<0.01). Discussion: This model may be used as an alternative or a complement to chemical models of colitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Colitis
  • Cytokines
  • Intestinal amino acid absorption
  • Methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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