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Mice with combined disruption of Gpx1 and Gpx2 genes have colitis.

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Department of Medical Oncology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Glutathione peroxidase (GPX)-1 and gastrointestinal (GI) epithelium-specific GPX (GPX-GI), encoded by Gpx1 and Gpx2, provide most GPX activity in GI epithelium. Although homozygous mice deficient in either the Gpx1 or Gpx2 gene appeared to be normal under standard housing conditions, homozygous mice deficient in both genes, double-knockout (KO) mice, had symptoms and pathology consistent with inflammatory bowel disease. These symptoms included a high incidence of perianal ulceration, growth retardation that started around weaning, and hypothermia that resembled that observed in calorie-restricted mice, even though the double-KO mice in our study were allowed to eat ad libitum. The growth retardation and hypothermia were components of cachexia, which is fatal in a high percentage of mice. Histological examination revealed that the double-KO mice had a high incidence of mucosal inflammation in the ileum and colon but not in the jejunum. Elevated levels of myeloperoxidase activity and lipid hydroperoxides were also detected in colon mucosa of these homozygous double-KO mice. These results suggest that GPX is essential for the prevention of the inflammatory response in intestinal mucosa.

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