There is now a wealth of experimental evidence indicating that the deficit in endogenous estrogen facilitates the onset of inflammation that can be antagonized by estrogen replacement therapy. This work investigated the role of estrogen in the control of intestinal inflammation in a panel of colitis models, focusing on the morphological changes, the activity of mast cells, the expression of cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha), fibronectin and reactive oxygen species. Two hundred adult male rats were divided into 4 groups: colitis was induced in Group I and Group II but only the latter was treated with estrogen; Group III received estrogen only, and Group IV saline. Colitis was induced in 4 models using: iodoacetamide; iodoacetamide + enteropathogenic E. coli; 2, 4, 6-Trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid; and dextran sulfate sodium salt. Macroscopic and microscopic evaluations of abdominal structures as well as molecular analysis were made on days 7, 14, 28 and 56. There was a significant improvement in the health condition of the estrogen-treated rats: the inflammation scores were reduced by at least 10-15%, the number of mast cells in the colon decreased by 30%, fibronectin expression was only 50% and reactive oxygen species decreased by 30%. In addition, there was a significant decrease in TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1beta expression by about 25%. In conclusion, there was an improvement in the inflammatory status in all estrogen-treated groups through the duration of the experiment at all-time points. In addition, there was less tissue necrosis as depicted by less fibronectin and a marked antioxidant effect.
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Immunology and Allergy
- Physiology (medical)
- Cancer Research