Background The Na-H exchanger [NHE] performs an electroneutral uptake of NaCl and water from the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. There are several distinct NHE isoforms, some of which show an altered expression in the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). In this study, we examined a role of NHE-2 in experimental colitis. Methods Colitis was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by intra-rectal administration of trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid (TNBS). On day 6 post- TNBS, the animals were sacrificed, colonic and ileal segments were taken out, cleaned with phosphate buffered saline and used in this study. Results There was a significant decrease in the level of NHE-2 protein as measured by ECL western blot analysis and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. The levels of NHE-2 mRNA and heteronuclear RNA measured by an end-point RT-PCR and a real time PCR were also decreased significantly in the inflamed colon. However, there was no change in the level of NHE-2 protein in response to in vitro TNF-α treatment of uninflamed rat colonic segment. These changes were selective and localized to the colon as actin, an internal control, remained unchanged. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy revealed co-localization of NHE-2 and NHE- 3 in the brush borders of colonic epithelial cells. Inflamed colon showed a significant increase in myeloperoxidase activity and colon hypertrophy. In addition, there was a significant decrease in body weight and goblet cells' mucin staining in the TNBS treated colon. These changes were not conspicuous in the non-inflamed ileum. Conclusions These findings demonstrate suppression of NHE-2 expression on the brush borders in the colonic epithelial cells which is regulated transcriptionally. However a role of TNF-α in the regulation of NHE-2 is discounted in the present model of colitis. This decrease in the NHE-2 expression will lead to a loss of electrolyte and water uptake thus contributing to the symptoms associated with IBD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)