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P067. Human and rodent ex vivo model for intestinal fibrosis in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

B.T. Pham1, T. van Haaften1, D. Oosterhuis1, I.A.M. de Graaf2, P. Olinga1, 1University of Groningen, Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, Groningen, Netherlands, 2University of Groningen, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting, Groningen, Netherlands


One of the major complications in IBD is intestinal fibrosis (IF). It is the result of the chronic inflammation of intestinal tissue. IF causes narrowing of the intestinal lumen and potential stricture formation. For the study of the cellular and molecular mechanism of IF in IBD adequate animal models are lacking. Our aim is to develop an ex vivo model for IF by using human and rodent precision-cut intestinal slice (PCIS). In PCIS all cell types are present in their original tissue-matrix environment and can be used as a model to study the early onset of IF.


Rat, mouse and human jejunum were excised and prepared as a segment embedded in agarose. PCIS (estimated 300–400 µm) was prepared and incubated up to 24 hr (rat) or 48 hr (human and mouse). ATP content of the PCIS was used to assess the general viability. Moreover, morphology (rat and human) was evaluated. The gene expression of different fibrosis markers including Pro-Collagen 1 A1 (COL1A1), Heat Shock Protein 47 (HSP47), alpha-Smooth Muscle Actin (SMA), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), Synaptophysin (SYN) and Fibronectin (FIB) were determined.


Mouse PCIS were viable up to 48 hr. However, for rat and human PCIS ATP content was decreased to 25% (24hr) and 70% (48 hr), respectively. ATP content of rat and human PCIS correlated well with morphology of the PCIS.

In rat PCIS, after 24 hr, HSP47 (3.2 fold) and FIB (2.1 fold) gene expressions were significantly increased. In the presence of 5 ng/mL TGF-β, COL1A1 (1.8 fold), SMA (1.5 fold) and CTGF (2.1 fold) were significantly up-regulated compared to 24 hr control. Meanwhile HSP47 gene expression was slightly decreased (0.8 fold).

Similarly, in mouse PCIS, gene expression of HSP47 (3.9 fold) and FIB (4.3 fold) was significantly increased after 48 hr. When incubated with 5 ng/mL TGF-β, COl1A1 and FIB were significantly up-regulated (2.0 fold) compared to 48 hr control, HSP47 and CTGF gene expression were slightly, but significantly increased (1.2 fold).

In human PCIS, after 48 hr, HSP47 (3.5-fold) and SYN (2.5 fold) were significantly up-regulated. However, incubation of human PCIS with 5 ng/ml of TGF-β, none of the investigated fibrosis genes was affected.


In rat, mouse and human PCIS an increase in gene expression of early-onset of fibrosis makers was found. In addition, TGF-β was able to induce fibrosis markers in rat and mouse, but not in human PCIS. Rodent and human PCIS are promising ex vivo models to study the early onset of intestinal fibrosis.