2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1071-1077
The number of patients with colitis has been increasing year by year. Recently, intestinal inflammation, as one of the factors for its onset, has been demonstrated to be induced by P2X7 receptor-mediated activation of colonic immune cells such as mast cells. Activation of P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is known to be inhibited by divalent metal cations such as magnesium, but whether or not magnesium administration prevents/relieves colitis is unknown so far. Here, we report that oral (per os (p.o.)) administration of MgCl2 and ingestion of commercially available magnesium-rich mineral hard water relieves dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Colitis was induced through ingestion of a 3% (w/v) DSS solution ad libitum for 10 d. Brilliant blue G (BBG, a P2X7R antagonist), MgCl2 or magnesium-rich mineral hard water was administered p.o. to mice via gastric intubation once a day or ad libitum from a day before DSS administration for 11 times or 11 d, respectively. DSS-treated mice exhibited a low disease activity index, a short colon and a high histological score compared to in control mice. As BBG (250 mg/kg, p.o.), administration of a MgCl2 solution (100 or 500 mg/kg, p.o.) and ad libitum ingestion of the magnesium-rich mineral hard water (212 ppm as magnesium) partially, but significantly, attenuated the severity of colitis by decreasing the accumulation of P2X7R-immunopositive mast cells in the colon. Therefore, prophylactic p.o. administration/ingestion of magnesium is considered to be partially effective to protect mice against DSS-induced colitis by inhibiting P2X7R-mediated activation/accumulation of colonic mast cells.