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J Immunol. 2001 Feb 1;166(3):1443-7.

Typhlocolitis in NF-kappa B-deficient mice.

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  • 1Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Activation of inflammatory gene expression by the transcription factor NF-kappaB is a central pathway in many inflammatory disorders, including colitis. Increased NF-kappaB activity has been linked with development of colitis in humans and animal models, thus it was unexpected when NF-kappaB-deficient mice developed spontaneous typhlocolitis. To further characterize this finding, we induced typhlocolitis in rederived NF-kappaB-deficient mice using intragastric infection with Helicobacter hepaticus. At 6 wk postinfection (PI), severe colitis with increased type 1 cytokine expression was seen in infected mice that lacked the p50 subunit of NF-kappaB and were also heterozygous for the p65 subunit of NF-kappaB(p50(-/-)p65(+/-)). Mice lacking the p50 subunit alone (p50(-/-)) were less severely affected, and wild-type mice and p65(+/-) mice were unaffected. T cell development in NF-kappaB-deficient mice was normal. These data indicate that p50 and p65 subunits of NF-kappaB have an unexpected role in inhibiting the development of colitis.

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