Objective: Ileocaecal resection (ICR) is common in Crohn’s disease. Inflammation and fibrosis frequently recur at the site of anastomosis or in the small intestine (SI). No animal models of postsurgical inflammation and fibrosis exist. A model of ICR was developed in interleukin 10 (IL10) null and wild-type (WT) mice to test the hypothesis that ICR promotes postsurgical inflammation and fibrosis in the SI or anastomosis of genetically susceptible IL10 null, but not WT or germ-free (GF)-IL10 null mice.
Methods: GF-IL10 null mice were conventionalised (CONV) and 3 weeks later randomised to ICR, transection (T) or no treatment (NoTx). Age-matched conventionally raised (CONV) WT and GF-IL10 null mice received ICR, T or NoTx. Animals were killed 28 days later. Histological scoring, real-time PCR for tumour necrosis factor α and collagen, and immunostaining for CD3+ T cells assessed inflammation and fibrosis.
Results: After ICR, CONV-IL10 null, but not CONV-WT mice, developed significant inflammation and fibrosis in the SI and inflammation in anastomosis compared with NoTx or T controls. Fibrosis occurred in the anastomosis of both CONV-IL10 null and CONV-WT mice following ICR. GF-IL10 null mice developed little or no inflammation or fibrosis in the SI or anastomosis after ICR.
Conclusions: ICR in CONV-IL10 null mice provides a new animal model of postsurgical inflammation and fibrosis in the SI and anastomosis. Absence of inflammation and fibrosis in the SI of CONV-WT and GF-IL10 null mice following ICR indicates that postsurgical small bowel disease occurs only in genetically susceptible IL10 null mice and is bacteria dependent.
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Competing interests: None.
Funding: Support for these studies was provided by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Crohns’ and Colitis Foundation of America (to RJR), NIH (DK067395 to MAH; DK080283 to PKL and MAH) and a pilot feasibility study from the UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (P30DK34987). This study used core facilities of the National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center (P40RR018603).
▸ An additional figure is published online only at http://gut.bmj.com/content/vol58/issue8
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