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Dig Dis Sci. 2000 Feb;45(2):394-7.

Iron supplementation may aggravate inflammatory status of colitis in a rat model.

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Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology, The E. Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel.


Iron supplementation is one of the principal therapies in inflammatory bowel disease. Iron is a major prooxidative agent; therefore therapeutic iron as well as heme iron from chronic mucosal bleeding can increase the iron-mediated oxidative stress in colitis by facilitating the Fenton reaction, namely production of hydroxyl radicals. In the present study colitis was induced in the iodoacetamide rat model. Forty male Whistar rats were divided into four groups, each group receiving a different diet regimen in parallel with colitis induction: Malondialdehyde was measured to assess the degree of tissue oxidative stress. There were microscopic changes, and significantly more severe colitis was seen in colonic biopsies when iron was supplemented. It was concluded that iron supplementation can amplify the inflammatory response and enhance the subsequent mucosal damage in a rat model of colitis. We suggest that the resultant oxidative stress generated by iron supplementation leads to the extension and propagation of crypt abscesses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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