International journal of colorectal disease 2017 08 16() doi 10.1007/s00384-017-2882-9
Cigarette smoke (CS) exerts protective effect against ulcerative colitis. The mechanism of this phenomenon remains unknown. One of the possible explanation by which CS exerts its anti-inflammatory action is modulation of immune system. Therefore, the aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of CS on the course of inflammation and subpopulations of lymphocytes in the blood and colon in mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis.
C57BL6/cmdb mice were exposed to CS for 4 weeks. Colitis was induced with 3.5% DSS given for 10 days. Severity of colitis was determined by disease activity index (DAI), body weight changes, and macro- and microscopic characteristics of inflammation. Peripheral subpopulations of lymphocytes were assessed by flow cytometry (blood) or immunohistochemistry (colonic tissue).
Mice treated with 3.5% DSS developed severe colitis with significantly decreased body weight, increased DAI, and macroscopic and histological features of colonic inflammation. These findings were diminished after concomitant exposure to CS. Mice exposed to DSS alone demonstrated significantly decreased percentage of total CD4(+) cells (73.1 vs. 52%, p = 0.0007), accompanied by increase of CD8(+) cells (18.4 vs. 39.5%, p = 0.0001). Concomitant CS exposure reversed inappropriate CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio both in the blood and colon and significantly increased B cell presence in the colon.
Our study has demonstrated that CS exposure decreases severity of DSS-induced colitis. This phenomenon was accompanied by changes in CD4/CD8 ratio and B cell level in the peripheral blood and colon. These mechanisms may be responsible for protective effect of smoking in ulcerative colitis.