Recombinant human MFG-E8 ameliorates colon damage in DSS-and TNBS-induced colitis in mice

Yinzhong Zhang, Max Brenner, Weng Lang Yang, Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive system and typically requires lifelong medical care. Recombinant human MFG-E8 (rhMFG-E8) is a 364-amino acid protein, which promotes apoptotic cell clearance and reduces inflammation. This study investigates the therapeutic effect of rhMFG-E8 on two well-established mouse models of IBD. Acute mucosal injury leading to colitis was caused by exposing C57BL/6 mice to 4% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in the drinking water over 7 days, and BALB/c mice to a single intrarectal dose of 2.75 mg of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Upon clinical onset of colitis (day 2 in the DSS model and day 1 in the TNBS model), mice were treated with daily subcutaneous injections of rhMFG-E8 (60 or 120 μg/kg/day) or vehicle (saline) for 6 days. Treatment with rhMFG-E8 significantly attenuated colitis in both models in a dose-dependent way. Treatment of DSS-induced colitis with rhMFG-E8 (120 μg/kg/day) decreased weight loss by 59%, the colitis severity score by 71%, and colon shrinkage by 49% when compared with vehicle. Similarly, treatment of TNBS-induced colitis with rhMFG-E8 (120 μg/kg/day) decreased weight loss by 97%, the colitis severity score by 82%, and colon shrinkage by 62% when compared with vehicle. In both models, the colons of animals receiving rhMFG-E8 showed marked reduction in neutrophil infiltration, cytokine and chemokine expression, and apoptotic cell counts. In conclusion, rhMFG-E8 ameliorates DSS-and TNBS-induced colitis, suggesting that it has the potential to become a novel therapeutic agent for IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-490
Number of pages11
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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