Down-regulation of intestinal lymphocyte activation and Th1 cytokine production by antibiotic therapy in a murine model of Crohn's disease

Giorgos Bamias, Marco Marini, Christopher A. Moskaluk, Masaru Odashima, William G. Ross, Jesüs Rivera-Nieves, Fabio Cominelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Resident intestinal bacteria likely play an important role in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease through their interaction with the gut immune system. SAMP1/YitFc mice spontaneously develop chronic, discontinuous, transmural ileitis with many features similar to Crohn's disease. The aim of this study was to determine the effects and elucidate the mechanisms of action of antibiotic treatment in the SAMP1/YitFc mouse model of ileitis. Mice were treated orally with ciprofloxacin and metronidazole before the development of ileitis (prevention protocol) or after ileitis was fully established (treatment protocol). Terminal ilea were harvested for histological scoring, and lamina propria and mesenteric lymph node cells were isolated for analysis of activation markers and cytokine production. Antibiotic therapy significantly decreased the severity of ileitis both in the prevention (40% reduction, p < 0.05) and the treatment (25% reduction, p < 0.01) protocols, compared with untreated, control mice. These effects were associated with a decreased percentage of CD4+/CD45RBhigh lymphocytes in mesenteric lymph nodes of antibiotic-treated mice, as well as decreased production of IFN-γ (prevention: 0.53 ± 0.21 vs 1.84 ± 0.04 ng/ml, p < 0.05; treatment: 8.4 ± 0.4 vs 12.4 ± 0.7 ng/ml, p < 0.005) and TNF (prevention: 61.5 ± 13 vs 134 ± 19 pg/ml, p < 0.01; treatment: 333.5 ± 11 vs 496 ± 20 pg/ml, p < 0.001). The number of activated lamina propria lymphocytes was also reduced after antibiotic treatment. In conclusion, antibiotic therapy significantly ameliorates the severity of ileitis in SAMP1/YitFc mice by a mechanism involving down-regulation of activated gut lymphocytes and inhibition of intestinal Th1 cytokine production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5308-5314
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Down-regulation of intestinal lymphocyte activation and Th1 cytokine production by antibiotic therapy in a murine model of Crohn's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this