Article ID: 15-0127
Accumulating evidence suggests that reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by endogenous metabolic enzymes are involved in a variety of intracellular mechanisms. In particular, superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase (Nox) 1 is highly expressed in the colon and has been implicated in physiological and pathophysiological states of colon tissues. However, its role in tissue repair following colitis has not been fully elucidated. Our study using experimental colitis in mice showed that repair of the mucosal layer did not occur in Nox1-deficient mice following dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. This was accompanied by inhibition of proliferation, cell survival, migration, and terminal differentiation (generation of goblet cells) of crypt progenitor cells, as determined by histochemical analyses. Furthermore, Nox1 expression as well as ROS production in the colon crypt was increased during the repair process, and Nox1 deficiency suppressed these events. The results suggest that Nox1 promotes colon mucosal wound repair by sustaining the bioactivity of crypt progenitor cells and plays a crucial role in the epithelial restitution in the case of damage associated with colitis.