Roles of mucosal bacteria and succinic acid in colitis caused by dextran sulfate sodium in mice

J Med Dent Sci. 2000 Dec;47(4):233-41.


Intestines of mice with colitis caused by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) contain more Bacteroidaceae cells than untreated controls. We investigated the roles of intestinal bacteria and succinic acid, a by-product of Bacteroidaceae metabolism, in this model of colitis. CBA/J mice were given 3% DSS in water for 14 days. After mice were anesthetized and killed, concentrations of organic acids in stools from the cecum and colon were measured. The resected rectum and colon were washed with sterile saline; some specimens were incubated with imipenem in saline for 1 h to kill bacteria on the surfaces and others were not. Their homogenates were cultured anaerobically and aerobically. Separately, 1 mL of 20 mM succinic acid was infused into the rectum of mice, whose anal verge was glued. Animals were anesthetized and killed the next day. The rectum and colon were examined histologically. Concentrations of succinate were higher everywhere in the colon of mice with colitis than in controls. Mice with colitis had more Bacteroidaceae cells, especially B. caccae, than controls. Mice given succinate enemas had focal erosions of the mucosa and edema of the submucosa. Succinic acid, produced abundantly by members of the family Bacteroidaceae, especially B. caccae, may be the ulcerogenic agent in DSS colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / analysis
  • Animals
  • Bacteroidaceae / classification
  • Bacteroidaceae / metabolism
  • Bacteroidaceae / physiology*
  • Bacteroides / classification
  • Bacteroides / metabolism
  • Butyric Acid / analysis
  • Carboxylic Acids / analysis
  • Cecum
  • Colitis / chemically induced*
  • Colitis / microbiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / microbiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Dextran Sulfate / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Propionates / analysis
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Rectum / pathology
  • Succinic Acid / analysis*
  • Succinic Acid / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Propionates
  • Butyric Acid
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Succinic Acid
  • propionic acid