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Res Pharm Sci. 2012 Jul;7(3):159-69.

Validation and optimization of experimental colitis induction in rats using 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid.

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Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Isfahan, I.R.Iran.


Trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis is one of the most common methods for studying inflammatory bowel disease in animal models. Several factors may, however, affect its reproducibility, rate of animal mortality, and macroscopic and histopathological outcomes. Our aim was to validate the main contributing factors to this method and compare the effects of different reference drugs upon remission of resultant colon injuries. TNBS was dissolved in 0.25 ml of ethanol (50% v/v) and instilled (25, 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg) intracolonically to the male Wistar rats. After determination of optimum dose of TNBS in male rats and assessment of this dose in female rats, they were treated with reference drugs including dexamethasone [1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (i.p.) and 2 mg/kg, orally (p.o.)], Asacol (mesalazine, 100 mg/kg, p.o.; 150 mg/kg, enema) and hydrocortisone acetate (20 mg/kg, i.p.; 20 mg/kg, enema) which started 2 h after colitis induction and continued daily for 6 consecutive days. Thereafter, macroscopic and microscopic parameters and clinical features were assessed and compared in different groups. We found that the optimum dose of TNBS for the reproducibility of colonic damage with the least mortality rate was 50 mg/kg. Amongst studied reference drugs, hydrocortisone acetate (i.p.), dexamethasone (i.p. and p.o.) and Asacol (p.o.) significantly diminished the severity of macroscopic and microscopic injuries and could be considered effective for experimental colitis studies in rats . Our findings suggest that optimization of TNBS dose is essential for induction of colitis under the laboratory conditions; and gender exerts no impact upon macroscopic and histological characteristics of TNBS-induced colitis in rats. Furthermore, the enema forms of hydrocortisone and Asacol are not appropriate reference drugs.


Animal model; Experimental colitis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Optimization; TNBS

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