5-Lipoxygenase modulates the alteration of paracellular barrier function in mice ileum during experimental colitis

Emanuela Mazzon, Lidia Sautebin, Achille P. Caputi, Salvatore Cuzzocrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small intestine permeability is frequently altered in inflammatory bowel disease and may be caused by the translocation of intestinal toxins through leaky small intestine tight junctions (TJs) and adherence. Recently, it has been shown that 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) plays an important role in the development of various inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. In the present study, by comparing the responses in wild-type mice (5-LOWT) with those of mice lacking the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOKO), we investigated the role played by this enzyme in the permeability and structure of small intestine TJs in an animal model of experimental colitis. To address this question, we used an experimental model of colitis, induced by dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS). Four days after colitis induction by DNBS, the ileal TJs were studied by means of transmission electron microscopy using lanthanum nitrate and immunohistochemistry of occludin and ZO-1. When compared with DNBS-treated 5-LOWT mice, DNBS-treated 5-LOKO mice experienced a reduced rate of the extent and severity of the histological signs of colon injury. After administration of DNBS, 5-LOWT mice showed a significant increase of ileal permeability (88.3% ± 1.2%) compared with sham (5.6% ± 0.5%). In colitis, the percentage of "leaky" junctions in terminal ilea correlated positively with the macroscopic colon damage score. Distal colitis in 5-LOWT mice induces an increase of TJ permeability throughout the entire small intestine, and the extent of alterations correlates with colonic damage. On the contrary, a significant reduction of (1) the degree of colon injury, (2) the alteration of ZO-1 and occludin localization (immunohistochemistry), and (3) ileal permeability (8.1% ± 0.7%) caused by DNBS in the colon was observed in 5-LOKO mice. Similarly, the treatment of 5-LOWT with zileuton (50 mg/ kg per oral gavage twice a day), a 5-LO inhibitor, resulted in a significant reduction of all the previously described parameters. Taken together, our results clearly demonstrate that 5-LO modulates small intestinal permeability in experimental colitis through the regulation of TJ protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • 5-lipoxygenase
  • Dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid
  • Intestinal permeability
  • TJ protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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