Infliximab and etanercept are equally effective in reducing enterocyte apoptosis in experimental colitis

Walter Fries, Carmelo Muja, Carmela Crisafulli, Giuseppe Costantino, Giuseppe Longo, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Emanuela Mazzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Loss of epithelial barrier integrity is considered an early step in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD), and the rate of enterocyte apoptosis is one of the determinants of the intestinal barrier function. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), one of the major proinflammatory mediators in CD, is one of the extrinsic signals which initiate apoptosis of enterocytes. The aim of this study was to investigate the early effects of experimental colitis on enterocyte apoptosis, and the effects of two anti-TNF treatments, infliximab (IFX) and etanercept (ETC). In addition, the importance of receptor I for TNF was tested in TNFR-1 -/- mice. Circulating TNF-α levels were effectively reduced by IFX and ETC (p-/- animals. The anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 was expressed in the ileal epithelium under control conditions, but was suppressed in DNB-colitis. Expression of Bcl-2 was maintained in both anti-TNF treatments and TNFR-1 -/- mice. DNB colitis induced a very early, rapid increase of enterocyte apoptosis. Both anti-TNF strategies, IFX and ETC, were equally effective in suppressing enterocyte apoptosis, most likely by inactivation of circulating TNF-α.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2008


  • Apoptosis
  • Enterocyte
  • Experimental colitis
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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