Open Access Research article

Disturbances in metabolic, transport and structural genes in experimental colonic inflammation in the rat: a longitudinal genomic analysis

Olga Martínez-Augustin1, Manel Merlos2, Antonio Zarzuelo3, María Dolores Suárez1 and Fermín Sánchez de Medina3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, CIBEREHD, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain

2 Palau Pharma, Pol. Ind. Riera de Caldes Avinguda Camí Reial 51-57, 08184 Palau-solità i Plegamans, Barcelona, Spain

3 Department of Pharmacology, CIBEREHD, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Genomics 2008, 9:490  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-490

Published: 17 October 2008



Trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid (TNBS) induced rat colitis is one of the most widely used models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition whose aetiology and pathophysiology are incompletely understood. We have characterized this model at the genomic level using a longitudinal approach. Six control rats were compared with colitic animals at 2, 5, 7 and 14 days after TNBS administration (n = 3). The Affymetrix Rat Expression Array 230 2.0 system was used.


TNBS-induced colitis had a profound impact on the gene expression profile, which was maximal 5 and 7 days post-induction. Most genes were affected at more than one time point. They were related to a number of biological functions, not only inflammation/immunity but also transport, metabolism, signal transduction, tissue remodeling and angiogenesis. Gene changes generally correlated with the severity of colitis. The results were successfully validated in a subset of genes by real-time PCR.


The TNBS model of rat colitis has been described in detail at the transcriptome level. The changes observed correlate with pathophysiological disturbances such as tissue remodelling and alterations in ion transport, which are characteristic of both this model and IBD.