, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 143-150

Induction of Colitis in Young Rats by Dextran Sulfate Sodium

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Models using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to induce experimental colitis in rodents have been performed mostly in adult animals. For this reason, we aimed to develop a model of colitis in young rats. DSS was administered to 30-day-old rats at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 5% in drinking water. Young rats were remarkably sensitive to DSS since clinical symptoms rapidly rose with 5% DSS and most animals died after the fifth day. With 1 and 2% DSS, the severity of mucosal lesions was also high on day 7, the animals showing leukocytosis and anemia. At 0.5% DSS, leukocytosis and mild colonic lesions were induced. This concentration of DSS significantly increased myeloperoxidase activity and goblet cell number in the colon, indicating mucosal inflammation. Since food consumption was not reduced by 0.5% DSS, we suggest that this protocol can be used to study the effects of dietary supplements on intestinal inflammatory processes.