The role of microflora in the development of intestinal inflammation: acute and chronic colitis induced by dextran sulfate in germ-free and conventionally reared immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice

Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2001;46(6):565-72. doi: 10.1007/BF02818004.


One-week dextran sulfate treatment of conventional (CV) immunodeficient (SCID) mice gave rise to acute colitis in the colon mucosa; germ-free (GF) SCID mice did not exhibit any changes in colon morphology. Dextran sulfate application to CV immunocompetent (BALB/c) mice did induce substantial changes in the colon mucosa (grade 4); GF BALB/c mice showed mild changes in the colon morphology (grade 1) only. GF SCID mice and CV SCID mice died during the second round of dextran sulfate treatment suffering from chronic colitis; GF BALB/c mice exhibited mild crypt distortion while CV BALB/c mice showed a complete loss of the surface epithelium (grade 4), accompanied by T and B lymphocyte infiltration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / microbiology
  • Colitis / pathology*
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunocompetence*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, SCID
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms


  • Dextran Sulfate