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J Immunol. 2004 Mar 15;172(6):3836-41.

Decay-accelerating factor deficiency increases susceptibility to dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis: role for complement in inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, Division of Gastroenterology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Decay-accelerating factor (DAF or CD55) is expressed on colonic epithelial cells but its function in the mucosa is unknown. In humans, a proportion of DAF-deficient (Cromer INAB) patients develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). To evaluate how DAF deficiency may contribute to gut inflammation and thus could play a role in IBD pathogenesis, we compared the severity of dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in Daf1 gene-targeted and control mice. Seven days after consuming 3% dextran sulfate sodium in their drinking water, Daf1(-/-) mice suffered markedly greater weight loss (-24.7 +/- 7.5% vs -14.2% +/- 4.9%), exhibited uniformly bloody diarrhea as compared with soft stool in control mice, developed shortened colons, and had larger spleens. Histological examination of distal colons showed massively increased neutrophilic and mononuclear cell infiltration, greater epithelial cell destruction, and increased ulcerations. Cytokine production in organ cultures of colonic explants showed increased levels of IL-12 and IL-6. Fourteen days after switching back to regular water, in contrast to the Daf1(+/+) controls which showed little stool abnormality, all Daf1(-/-) mice continued to have diarrhea. Organ culture cytokine measurements at this time point, i.e., the end of the recovery phase, showed markedly increased levels of IL-10 (6-fold), IL-12 (4-fold), and IL-6 (2-fold), as well as TNF-alpha (>10-fold) compared with the controls. Our findings argue that, as shown for IL-10 in IL-10(-/-) mice and IL-2 in IL-2(-/-) mice, DAF control of complement additionally is important in regulating gut homeostasis and consequently its activity may participate in protecting against IBD.

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