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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dextran sulfate sodium-induced murine colitis activates NF-kappaB and increases galanin-1 receptor expression.

Galanin is widely distributed in enteric nerve terminals and acts to modulate intestinal motility by altering smooth muscle contraction. This ligand causes Cl(-) secretion when colonic epithelial cells express the galanin-1 receptor (Gal1-R) subtype. Because Gal1-R expression by colonic epithelia is upregulated by the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), increasingly appreciated as critical in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease, we wondered whether the diarrhea associated with this condition could be due to NF-kappaB- mediated increases in Gal1-R expression. To test this hypothesis, we provided oral dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to C57BL/6J mice. Although Gal1-R are not normally expressed by epithelial cells lining the mouse colon, DSS treatment resulted in increased NF-kappaB activation and Gal1-R expression. Whereas galanin had no effect on murine colonic tissues studied ex vivo, it progressively increased short-circuit current and colonic fluid secretion in DSS-treated mice. Concomitant parenteral administration of the NF-kappaB inhibitor dexamethasone attenuated the activation of this transcription factor by DSS, inhibiting the increase in Gal1-R expression. Although Gal1-R-specific antagonists do not exist, intracolonic administration of commercially available galanin antibody diminished the DSS-induced increase in colonic fluid accumulation. Overall, these data demonstrate that a significant component of the excessive fluid secretion observed in DSS-treated mice is due to increased Gal1-R expression.[1]


  1. Dextran sulfate sodium-induced murine colitis activates NF-kappaB and increases galanin-1 receptor expression. Marrero, J.A., Matkowskyj, K.A., Yung, K., Hecht, G., Benya, R.V. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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