Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 42, Issue 9, pp 1969-1980

First online:

Protease Activity in a Hapten-Induced Model of Ulcerative Colitis in Rats

  • James V. Hawkins
  • , Eva L. Emmel
  • , Jennifer J. Feuer
  • , Mark A. Nedelman
  • , Catherine J. Harvey
  • , Hilton J. Klein
  • , Harry Rozmiarek
  • , Ann R. Kennedy
  • , Gary R. Lichtenstein

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a painfuland debilitating condition affecting the mucosal liningof the colon and other areas of the gastrointestinaltract. IBD generally falls into two major categories: ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease. Wehave utilized dinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (DNBS) toinduce experimental UC in rats. Histopathologic analysisindicates that DNBS induces a condition in animals similar to human UC. Biochemical resultsrevealed 6- to 10-fold elevated levels of serineprotease activity in colon tissue from animals with UCas compared with matched controls. We also observedelevated levels of protease activity in tissue samplesobtained from human patients with UC. Hence, our resultsdemonstrate that protease activity is increased inrodent and human UC. These proteases may play a significant role in destruction of colonictissue in IBD. Protease inhibitors that target serineproteases may be useful pharmacological agents to limittissue destruction in IBD.