A TNBS-Induced Rodent Model to Study the Pathogenic Role of Mechanical Stress in Crohn's Disease

Ramasatyaveni Geesala, You Min Lin, Ke Zhang, Suimin Qiu, Xuan Zheng Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease (CD) are chronic inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract affecting approximately 20 per 1,000,000 in Europe and USA. CD is characterized by transmural inflammation, intestinal fibrosis, and luminal stenosis. Although anti-inflammatory therapies may help control inflammation, they have no efficacy on fibrosis and stenosis in CD. The pathogenesis of CD is not well understood. Current studies focus mainly on delineating dysregulated gut immune response mechanisms. While CD-associated transmural inflammation, intestinal fibrosis, and luminal stenosis all represent mechanical stress to the gut wall, the role of mechanical stress in CD is not well defined. To determine if mechanical stress plays an independent pathogenic role in CD, a protocol of TNBS-induced CD-like colitis model in rodents has been developed. This TNBS-induced transmural inflammation and fibrosis model resembles pathological hallmarks of CD in the colon. It is induced by intracolonic instillation of TNBS into the distal colon of adult Sprague-Dawley rats. In this model, transmural inflammation leads to stenosis at the TNBS instillation site (Site I). Mechanical distention is observed in the portion proximal to the instillation site (Site P), representing mechanical stress but not visible inflammation. Colonic portion distal to inflammation (Site D) presents neither inflammation nor mechanical stress. Distinctive changes of gene expression, immune response, fibrosis, and smooth muscle growth at different sites (P, I, and D) were observed, highlighting a profound impact of mechanical stress. Therefore, this model of CD-like colitis will help us better understand CD's pathogenic mechanisms, particularly the role of mechanical stress and mechanical stress-induced gene expression in immune dysregulation, intestinal fibrosis, and tissue remodeling in CD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere63499
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number181
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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