Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Colorectal Dis. 2006 May;21(4):381-7. Epub 2005 Aug 23.

Exacerbation of dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis by dietary iron supplementation: role of NF-kappaB.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5G-2C4, Canada.



In colitis, iron therapy may be given to treat anemia, but it may also be detrimental based on our previous studies using a rat model with colitis where iron supplementation increased disease activity and oxidative stress. This effect was partially reduced by an antioxidant.


The aim of this study was to further evaluate, in rats with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, the effect of iron on neutrophilic infiltration, cytokines and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappaB)-associated inflammation and to determine whether the addition of vitamin E would be beneficial.


Colitis was induced with DSS at 50 g/l in drinking water for 7 days. DSS rats were randomized to the following: DSS, receiving a control, non-purified diet (iron, 270 mg and DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate, 49 mg/kg); DSS+iron (diet+iron, 3,000 mg/kg); DSS+vitamin E (diet+DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate, 2,000 mg/kg); or the DSS+iron+vitamin E. Colonic inflammation, myeloperoxidase activity (MPO), lipid peroxides (LPO), proinflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6] and NF-kappaB binding activity were measured.


The DSS+iron group showed a significant increase in inflammatory scores, MPO, TNF-alpha, IL-1, LPO and NF-kappaB activity compared to DSS or DSS+vitamin E. The addition of vitamin E to iron (DSS+iron+vitamin E group) significantly reduced the inflammatory scores, TNF-alpha and IL-6. None of the other parameters were affected.


Iron increases disease activity in colitis, and this is associated with oxidative stress, neutrophilic infiltration, increased cytokines and activation of NF-kappaB. This detrimental effect was partially reduced by vitamin E.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center