<span class=”paragraphSection”><div class=”boxTitle”>Abstract</div><div class=”boxTitle”>Introduction:</div>α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in vagus nerve-based cholinergic anti-inflammatory effects. This study was designed to assess the role of α7 nAChRs in dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in male and female mouse. We first compared disease activity and pathogenesis of colitis in α7 knockout and wild-type mice. We then evaluated the effect of several α7 direct and indirect agonists on the severity of disease in the DSS-induced colitis.<div class=”boxTitle”>Methods:</div>Male and female adult mice were administered 2.5% DSS solution freely in the drinking water for 7 consecutive days and the colitis severity (disease activity index) was evaluated as well as colon length, colon histology, and levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha colonic levels.<div class=”boxTitle”>Results:</div>Male, but not female, α7 knockout mice displayed a significantly increased colitis severity and higher tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels as compared with their littermate wild-type mice. Moreover, pretreatment with selective α7 ligands PHA-543613, choline, and PNU-120596 decreased colitis severity in male but not female mice. The anti-colitis effects of these α7 compounds dissipated when administered at higher doses.<div class=”boxTitle”>Conclusions:</div>Our results suggest the presence of a α7-dependent anti-colitis endogenous tone in male mice. Finally, our results show for the first time that female mice are less sensitive to the anti-colitis activity of α7 agonists. Ovarian hormones may play a key role in the sex difference effect of α7 nAChRs modulation of colitis in the mouse.<div class=”boxTitle”>Implications:</div>Our collective results suggest that targeting α7 nAChRs could represent a viable therapeutic approach for intestinal inflammation diseases such as ulcerative colitis with the consideration of sex differences.</span>
Sex Differences and Drug Dose Influence the Role of the α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor in the Mouse Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Colitis Model
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