Validation of the interleukin-10 knockout mouse model of colitis: antitumour necrosis factor-antibodies suppress the progression of colitis.
Scheinin T., Butler DM., Salway F., Scallon B., Feldmann M.
Advances in understanding pathogenesis and developing new therapies are hastened by the use of effective animal models of disease. In inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease, a variety of models have been used, including the IL-10 knockout mouse. However, in order to be truly valuable, the models need to respond to existing therapy in a way which resembles the human disease. In the light of recent developments, in which refractory Crohn's disease responds well to anti-TNF antibody therapy, we set out to validate the IL-10 knockout model of Crohn's disease by examining its response to anti-TNF therapy. We developed a new scoring system for IL-10 knockout mice, similar to the Crohn's Disease Activity Index in humans, analysed stool samples for cytokines and compared the findings with histology. We found that anti-TNF antibody therapy starting at 4 weeks markedly ameliorated the disease, as judged by the clinical score or by histological analysis of the gut. Furthermore, analysis of stool samples for cytokines revealed a marked diminution of inflammatory cytokines, adding a further accurate measure of the improvement. This model may thus be useful for evaluating other therapeutic modalities of relevance to Crohn's disease.