Background: Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), an evolutionarily conserved appetite-regulating neuropeptide, has been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Expression of MCH is upregulated in inflamed intestinal mucosa in humans with colitis and MCH-deficient mice treated with trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) develop an attenuated form of colitis compared to wild type animals. Zebrafish have emerged as a new animal model of IBD, although the majority of the reported studies concern zebrafish larvae. Regulation MCH expression in the adult zebrafish intestine remains unknown. Methods: In the present study we induced enterocolitis in adult zebrafish by intrarectal administration of TNBS. Follow-up included survival analysis, histological assessment of changes in intestinal architecture, and assessment of intestinal infiltration by myeloperoxidase positive cells and cytokine transcript levels. Results: Treatment with TNBS dose-dependently reduced fish survival. This response required the presence of an intact microbiome, since fish pre-treated with vancomycin developed less severe enterocolitis. At 6 hours postchallenge, we detected a significant influx of myeloperoxidase positive cells in the intestine and upregulation of both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Most importantly, and in analogy to human IBD and TNBS-induced mouse experimental colitis, we found increased intestinal expression of MCH and its receptor in TNBS-treated zebrafish. Conclusions: Taken together these findings not only establish a model of chemically-induced experimental enterocolitis in adult zebrafish, but point to effects of MCH in intestinal inflammation that are conserved across species. © 2013 Geiger et al.
Geiger, B. M., Gras-Miralles, B., Ziogas, D. C., Karagiannis, A. K. A., Zhen, A., Fraenkel, P., & Kokkotou, E. (2013). Intestinal upregulation of melanin-concentrating hormone in TNBS-induced enterocolitis in adult zebrafish. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0083194