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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 12 (2003), Issue 5, Pages 277-283

Regulation of nuclear factor-κB in intestinal epithelial cells in a cell model of inflammation

1Department of Physiology, American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon
2Department of Human Morphology, American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation.


Background: Interleukin-1 (IL-1), an inflammatory cytokine whose levels are elevated in inflamed mucosa, causes part of its effect on intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) through inducing ceramide production.

Aim: To study the role of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), a pro-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic factor, in IL-1- treated IEC.

Methods: NF-κB activity and levels of apoptotic proteins were assessed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay and RNA-protection assay, respectively.

Results: IL-1 and ceramide, which have been shown to partially mediate IL-l effects on IEC, activated NF-κB levels significantly. This activation was due to a decrease in IκB-α and IκB-β protein levels. Moreover, the ratio of mRNA levels of anti-apoptotic to pro-apoptotic proteins was significantly increased in IL-1-treated IEC.

Conclusion: NF-κB may play a key role in the regulation of the expression of pro-inflammatory and/or apoptotic genes in inflammatory bowel disease, making this protein an attractive target for therapeutic intervention.