Send to

Choose Destination
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.

Author information

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


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center