Enterococcus faecalis induces inflammatory bowel disease in interleukin-10 knockout mice

Am J Pathol. 2002 Jun;160(6):2253-7. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)61172-8.


Germ-free interleukin-10 knockout (IL-10 KO) mice developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) after they were colonized with a pure culture of Enterococcus faecalis. E. faecalis not only induced IBD (primarily in colon and rectum) but rectal dysplasia and adenocarcinoma was also found in the IL-10 KO mice. Conventional (complex-intestinal flora) IL-10 KO mice developed IBD within 10 to 15 weeks of age and showed more pathology in the cecum (typhlitis) than we observed with E. faecalis-induced IBD in gnotobiotic IL-10 KO mice. Conversely, neither germ-free IL-10 mice nor IL-10 KO mice colonized as adults, with a pure culture of Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus casei, L. reuteri, L. acidophilus, a Bifidobacterium sp., Lactococcus lactis, or a Bacillus sp. developed IBD during the 25- to 30-week study. E. faecalis is a common intestinal microbe of man and animals that can trigger IBD, dysplasia, and carcinoma in a genetically susceptible murine host.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Candida albicans
  • Cecum / pathology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Enterococcus faecalis*
  • Escherichia coli
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / pathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukin-10 / physiology*
  • Lactobacillus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout


  • Interleukin-10