Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.518, No.1, 7-13, 2019
Chronic Dexamethasone exposure activates the TLR4-Mediated inflammation pathway and induces epithelial apoptosis in the goat colon
Chronic stress has a profound effect on health in both animals and humans. Dexamethasone (Dex), a synthetic glucocorticoid, is used to induce chronic stress in many studies. The impact of chronic stress on epithelial cells of hindgut of ruminants is still unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of chronic stress induced by long term injection of low dosage of Dex on the colonic epithelium of goats. The results showed that Dex exposure increased the number of TUNEL-positive cells, upregulated caspase-3 and caspase-8 enzyme activity, but decreased protein expression of cell proliferation markers proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Cyclin D2(CCND2). It also activated TLR-4 and NF-kappa B pathway and increased the transcription levels of vital inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), and inducible nitric oxide synthase 2 (iNOS2). Chronic stress down-regulated the methylation level of total DNA, suggesting a mechanism for the transcriptional activation of genes, such as claudin-1, claudin-4, ZO-1, and cell cycle-related genes. Taken together, long-term injection of a low dosage of Dex caused damage to the colon epithelium accompanied with the inhibition of cell proliferation and the activation of cell apoptosis and inflammation. However, a general up-regulation of genes expression induced by Dex is due to a lower level of genomic DNA methylation. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.