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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Feb;17(2):532-42. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21377.

Intestinal alkaline phosphatase has beneficial effects in mouse models of chronic colitis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



The brush border enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) functions as a gut mucosal defense factor and is protective against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced acute injury in rats. The present study evaluated the potential therapeutic role for orally administered calf IAP (cIAP) in two independent mouse models of chronic colitis: 1) DSS-induced chronic colitis, and 2) chronic spontaneous colitis in Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASP)-deficient (knockout) mice that is accelerated by irradiation.


The wildtype (WT) and IAP knockout (IAP-KO) mice received four cycles of 2% DSS ad libitum for 7 days. Each cycle was followed by a 7-day DSS-free interval during which mice received either cIAP or vehicle in the drinking water. The WASP-KO mice received either vehicle or cIAP for 6 weeks beginning on the day of irradiation.


Microscopic colitis scores of DSS-treated IAP-KO mice were higher than DSS-treated WT mice (52±3.8 versus 28.8±6.6, respectively, P<0.0001). cIAP treatment attenuated the disease in both groups (KO=30.7±6.01, WT=18.7±5.0, P<0.05). In irradiated WASP-KO mice cIAP also attenuated colitis compared to control groups (3.3±0.52 versus 6.2±0.34, respectively, P<0.001). Tissue myeloperoxidase activity and proinflammatory cytokines were significantly decreased by cIAP treatment.


Endogenous IAP appears to play a role in protecting the host against chronic colitis. Orally administered cIAP exerts a protective effect in two independent mouse models of chronic colitis and may represent a novel therapy for human IBD.

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