Background: Acute ulcerative colitis is an inflammation-driven condition of the bowel. It hampers the general homeostasis of gut, resulting in decreased mucus production and epithelial cell renewal. Adiponectin (APN), an adipocytokine, is secreted by the adipose tissue and has been debated both as a pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory protein depending on the disease condition and microenvironment. The present study delineates the role of APN depletion in mucus modulation in a model of acute colitis.
Methods: APNKO and C57BL/6 (WT) male mice were given 2% DSS ad libidum for 5 days in drinking water, followed by normal drinking water for the next 5 days. Hematoxyline-eosin and Alcian Blue staining was used to observe the general colonic morphology and goblet cell quantification respectively. Protein expression levels were quantified by Western blot for MATH1, Hes1, MUC2 and MUC4. ELISA was used to study the levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β.
Results: APNKO mice showed significantly higher goblet to epithelial cell ratios, lower pro-inflammatory cytokines and higher MUC2 levels as compared to the WT mice. The protein expression levels for the mucin MUC2 supported the histopathological findings. An increase in colon tissue-secreted levels of pro-inflammatory with a reduction in anti-inflammatory cytokines in presence of APN support the pro-inflammatory role of APN during acute inflammation.
Conclusion: Absence of APN is protective against DSS-induced acute colonic inflammation by means of reducing colon tissue-secreted pro-inflammatory cytokines, modulating goblet and epithelial cell expressions, and increasing the levels of secretory mucin MUC2.