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The Effects of Ultraviolet Eye Irradiation on Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Ulcerative Colitis in Mice

Ultraviolet (UV) eye irradiation denatures the cells of the intestine. This study examined the action of UVA and UVB on dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis. We produced a mouse model of ulcerative colitis by administering DSS for 5 days and irradiated the eye with UVB or UVA for each day of the DSS treatment period. DSS-induced ulcerative colitis was deteriorated by the UVB eye irradiation. Conversely, the symptoms improved with UVA eye irradiation. The levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), urocortin 2, interleukin (IL)-18, IL-6 and histamine in the blood increased after the UVB eye irradiation of DSS-treated mice (UVB/DSS-treated mice). In contrast, the β-endorphin level in the blood of the UVA/DSS-treated mice increased and the levels of urocortin 2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and histamine decreased. Furthermore, in the colon, the expression of melanocortin-2 receptors (MC2R) increased in the UVB/DSS-treated mice, while the expression of μ-opioid receptors increased in the UVA/DSS-treated mice. When an ACTH inhibitor was administered, UVB eye irradiation caused the deterioration of DSS-treated ulcerative colitis, while the effect of UV eye irradiation disappeared with a μ-opioid receptor antagonist. These results suggested that UV eye irradiation plays an important role in DSS-induced ulcerative colitis.

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