Binding of hydrogen sulfide by bismuth does not prevent dextran sulfate-induced colitis in rats

Dig Dis Sci. 2000 Jul;45(7):1439-43. doi: 10.1023/a:1005580709390.


Several lines of evidence suggest that ulcerative colitis could be caused by excessive bacterial production of H2S in the colon. A rodent model of colitis involves the feeding of nonabsorbable, carbohydrate-bound sulfate in the form of dextran sulfate or carrageenan. The observation that metronidazole blocks the development of this colitis suggested that the injurious agent could be a sulfur-containing compound (such as H2S) that is released during the bacterial metabolism of the nonabsorbed sulfate. We tested this possibility by feeding rats dextran sulfate, with or without bismuth subsalicylate, a compound that avidly binds H2S. Bismuth subsalicylate reduced the fecal release of H2S in dextran sulfate-treated rats to values well below that of controls. Nevertheless, all the animals developed colitis. We conclude that excessive H2S production does not play a role in the dextran sulfate model of colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bismuth / metabolism*
  • Bismuth / pharmacology
  • Colitis / chemically induced*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Dextran Sulfate*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Organometallic Compounds / metabolism*
  • Organometallic Compounds / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reference Values
  • Salicylates / metabolism*
  • Salicylates / pharmacology


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Salicylates
  • bismuth subsalicylate
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Bismuth
  • Hydrogen Sulfide