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J Pathol. 2004 Sep;204(1):84-92.

Decreased expression of apical Na+ channels and basolateral Na+, K+-ATPase in ulcerative colitis.

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1
Department of Medicine (University of Manchester), Hope Hospital, Salford, UK.

Abstract

Impaired absorption of sodium (Na+) and water is a major factor in the pathogenesis of diarrhoea in ulcerative colitis (UC). Electrogenic Na+ absorption, present mainly in human distal colon and rectum, is defective in UC, but the molecular basis for this is unclear. The effect of UC on the expression of apical Na+ channels (ENaC) and basolateral Na+, K+-ATPase, the critical determinants of electrogenic Na+ transport, was therefore investigated in this study. Sigmoid colonic and/or proximal rectal mucosal biopsies were obtained from patients with mild to moderate UC, and patients with functional abdominal pain (controls). ENaC subunit expression was studied by immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis, and in situ hybridization, and Na+, K+-ATPase isoform expression was studied by immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and northern blot analysis. UC was associated with substantial decreases in the expression of the ENaC beta- and gamma-subunit proteins and mRNAs, whereas the decrease in ENaC alpha-subunit protein detected by immunolocalization was less marked. The levels of expression of Na+, K+-ATPase alpha1- and beta1-isoform proteins were also lower in UC patients than in controls, although there were no differences in Na+, K+-ATPase alpha1- and beta1-isoform mRNA levels between the two groups. Taken together, these results show that UC results mainly in decreased expression of the apical ENaC beta- and gamma-subunits, as well as the basolateral Na+, K+-ATPase alpha1- and beta1-isoforms. In conclusion, these changes provide a basis for the low/negligible levels of electrogenic Na+ absorption seen in the distal colon and rectum of UC patients, which contribute to the pathogenesis of diarrhoea in this disease.

PMID:
15307141
DOI:
10.1002/path.1613
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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