Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which is shed in its soluble form by a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) called TNF-alpha convertase (TACE; ADAM17). TNF-alpha plays a role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and is involved in the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) which has also been implicated in IBD. The study was designed to investigate whether colitis induced by trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (TNBS) in rats produces an increase in TACE activity and/or expression and whether its pharmacological inhibition reduces TNF-alpha levels, iNOS expression and colonic damage in this model. TNBS (30 mg in 0.4 ml of 50% ethanol) was instilled into the colon of female Wistar rats. Saline or TACE inhibitor BB1101 (10 mg/kg/day) was administered intraperitoneally 5 days after TNBS instillation. On day 10, colons were removed and assessed for pathological score, myeloperoxidase (MPO), NO synthase (NOS), TACE enzymatic activity and protein levels, colonic TNF-alpha and NOx- levels. Instillation of TNBS caused an increase in TACE activity and expression and the release of TNF-alpha. TNBS also resulted in iNOS expression and colonic damage. BB1101 blocked TNBS-induced increase in TACE activity, TNF-alpha release and iNOS expression. Concomitantly, BB1101 ameliorated TNBS-induced colonic damage and inflammation. TNBS causes TNF-alpha release by an increase in TACE activity and expression and this results in the expression of iNOS and subsequent inflammation, suggesting that TACE inhibition may prove useful as a therapeutic means in IBD.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.