Gene Deficient Animals

In recent years, specific mouse strains have been frequently used in studies of colitis. Colitis in mice closely resembles human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are several specific inbred mouse strains that are most useful in this area as they are more likely to develop spontaneous colitis. Strains displaying a disrupted expression of Interleukin (IL)-2, IL-10, and TGF-b have proven to be particularly useful in these studies and have contributed to a broader understanding of the role of the human GI microbiota in IBD. There are a number of different characteristics associated with animals that express irregular cytokine profiles. In mice that are deficient in IL-2, usually when 6-15 weeks old, inflammation occurs in the colon only (111). However, in IL-10 deficient mice, inflammation may also occur in the small intestine as well as the colon (112). TCRa deficient animals have developed inflammation in the caecum, colon, and rectum (113-115), whereas HLA-B27 rats develop inflammation in the colon, duodenum, and caecum (116). These "knock out" models may be used to investigate the effect of the human microbiota, both in terms of the aggravating, as well as alleviating effects on IBD (117).

Immune deficient animals have also been useful in studies relating to the effects of probiotic cultures on colitis. Probiotic cultures investigated in IL-10 deficient mice include L. salivarius, Bifidobacterium lactis (117). IL-10 knock out mice with colitis have also been used to investigate the effect of a genetically modified (GM) Lactococcus lactis that synthesizes IL-10 (42,118).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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