Models of spontaneous colitis

C3H/HeJ Bir mice

A spontaneous colitis occurs in a selective strain of C3H/HeJ mice noted at the Jackson laboratories to have diarrhea and rectal ulceration. The disease coincides with the onset of bacterial colonization and is focal in distribution. It spontaneously resolves as the mice age. The severity of the disease is variable and depends on the animal facility in whcih the mice are housed.

Cotton top tamarin

A remitting and relapsing colitis arises spontaneously in the cotton top tamarin by the second year of life. This disease, which appears to be found only in animals in captivity, shows considerable similarities to ulcerative colitis. The entire colon is involved. Serum antibodies to gut epithelial cells have been detected but no pathogen has been isolated. The intestinal epithelium exhibits an increased dysplasia with age. Again this animal shows the importance of the interaction between genetics and environmental factors in the development of disease. Some researchers have suggested that it may be a model in which the effects on the severity of colitis of neurogenic and stress factors can be studied.

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