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Protective role of estrogen through G-protein coupled receptor 30 in a colitis mouse model

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Histochemistry and Cell Biology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Estrogen and its receptors are involved in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal diseases such as colitis. However, the role of the membrane estrogen receptor G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) in colitis is poorly understood. We therefore investigated the effect of estrogen in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. Male C57BL/6 mice were administered 1.5% DSS for 5 days and treated with 17β-estradiol (E2), GPR30 agonist (G1), or GPR30 antagonist (G15) for 8 days. Inflammation grade was evaluated by disease activity index (DAI) and histomorphological score. Colon tissues were immunohistochemically analyzed and revealed high expression of membrane GPR30, histone 3 lysine 36 dimethylation, and lysine 79 trimethylation in normal mouse colon epithelial cells but significantly decreased expression in DSS-treated mice, whereas the expression was partially preserved after treatment with E2 or G1. Colon shortening and DAI were significantly lower in E2- and G1-treated mice compared to DSS-treated mice. Caudal type homeobox 2 (CDX2) expression and cell proliferation differed in normal colon epithelial cells but overlapped in those of DSS-treated mice. Administration of E2 and G1 reduced CDX2 expression and cell proliferation. Altered expression of claudin-2 and occludin were observed in the colonic epithelium of DSS-treated mice, and these changes were significantly lower in the colon of E2- and G1-treated mice. These results indicate that estrogen regulates histone modification, cell proliferation, and CDX2 expression through GPR30, which affects intestinal epithelial barrier function. We conclude that estrogen protects against intestinal epithelial damage through GPR30 by enhancing intestinal epithelial barrier function in DSS-induced colitis in mice.

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This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 16K08471, No. 21K06738 to Y. Hishikawa).


Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, No. 16K08471, No. 21K06738.

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F, YH designed all experiments, F, NC, YH wrote the manuscript, F, NC, MI, KY, performed experiments, F, NC, YH analyzed data, and YY, SS, KK, TI provided mouse, reagents and information. The authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yoshitaka Hishikawa.

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Fidya, Choijookhuu, N., Ikenoue, M. et al. Protective role of estrogen through G-protein coupled receptor 30 in a colitis mouse model. Histochem Cell Biol 161, 81–93 (2024).

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