Effect of Azithromycin on Acute Inflammatory Lesions and Colonic Bacterial Load in a Murine Model of Experimental Colitis
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the macrolide antibiotic azithromycin on mucosal changes and colonic bacterial load in a murine model of colitis.
Colitis was induced in CD1 mice using enema of 0.2% solution of dinitrofluorobenzene, combined with skin sensitization. Four experimental groups of animals (N = 10 per group) were treated with 50 mg/kg/day azithromycin (AZ) or metronidazole (MN) perorally, starting 24 h before (AZ−1, MN−1) or 6 h after (AZ+1, MN+1) induction of colitis and for consecutive 5 days. Additional experimental mice group was treated with 10 mg/kg/day methylprednisolone intraperitoneally after induction of experimental colitis in the same manner (MP). Two control groups consisted of healthy animals (C) that received the challenge enema with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and animals with experimental colitis (chall) treated with equivolume of PBS perorally. Clinical score (0–5) and histopathologic score (0–30) were used to assess inflammatory changes, and colon washings were used to determine changes in bacterial load.
The anti-inflammatory effect of azithromycin did not differ from the effect of methylprednisolone, when compared with control group with experimental colitis. Metronidazole did not show a significant anti-inflammatory effect. Number of colonic bacteria did not differ significantly between control and experimental groups of animals.
We documented the anti-inflammatory effect of azithromycin in a murine model of acute colitis, suggesting that effects were targeted to oxidative burst and on mucosal/bacterial interface, independent of luminal bacterial load. Further studies should be focused on effect of azithromycin on the role of bacterial biofilm in perpetuation of chronic intestinal inflammation.
KeywordsInflammatory bowel disease Experimental colitis Inflammation Azithromycin Bacterial biofilm
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