Mitochondrial respiratory chain in the colonic mucosal of patients with ulcerative colitis

Mol Cell Biochem. 2010 Sep;342(1-2):111-5. doi: 10.1007/s11010-010-0474-x. Epub 2010 May 4.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the large bowel. Its pathogenesis remains unclear, but it appears to result from a deregulated immune response, with infiltration of leukocytes into the mucosal interstitium. Several studies link oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction to the pathogenesis of UC. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes in the colonic mucosal of UC patients. Colonic biopsies were obtained from UC patients (n = 13). The control specimens were taken from patients without any history of inflammatory bowel disease (n = 8). Colon mucosal was removed by colonoscopy and homogenized. Mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes activities were then measured. Our results showed that the activity of complex I was not altered in UC patients, when compared to the control group. On the other hand, complexes II, III, and IV were decreased around 50-60% in the colonic mucosal of UC patients. Based on the present findings, we hypothesize that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a role in pathogenesis of UC.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / enzymology*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colonoscopy
  • Electron Transport / physiology*
  • Electron Transport Complex I / metabolism
  • Electron Transport Complex II / metabolism
  • Electron Transport Complex III / metabolism
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Prognosis


  • Electron Transport Complex II
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Electron Transport Complex I
  • Electron Transport Complex III