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Nat Med. 1999 Oct;5(10):1178-82.

The role of CD4+ lymphocytes in the susceptibility of mice to stress-induced reactivation of experimental colitis.

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  • 1Intestinal Diseases Research Unit, Division of Gastroenterology, Room 4W8, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic relapsing condition. The role of stress in causing relapses of inflammatory bowel disease remains controversial. We now show that colitis induced in mice by dinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (DNBS) resolves by 6 weeks, but can subsequently be reactivated by stress plus a sub-threshold dose of DNBS, but not by DNBS alone. Stress reduced colonic mucin and increased colon permeability. Susceptibility to reactivation by stress required CD4+ lymphocytes and could be adoptively transferred. We conclude that stress reactivates experimental colitis by facilitating entry of luminal contents that activate previously sensitized CD4 cells in the colon.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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