To observe the effect of herbal cake-partitioned moxibustion (Moxi) on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α/ TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1)-associated death domain (TRADD) / Fas-associated death domain (FADD) pathway-mediated apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells in Crohn's disease (CD) rats, so as to explore its underlying mechanisms in the treatment of CD.
Forty-eight SD male rats were randomly divided into normal, model, Moxi and medication groups (n＝12 rats in each). The CD model was established by intra-annual perfusion of 2，4，6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) solution (TNBS∶50% alcohol＝2∶1, 3 mL/kg), once every 7 days, 4 times altogether. For rats of the Moxi group, moxibustion was given to "Tianshu" (ST25) and "Qihai" (CV6), two moxa-cones every time, once daily for 10 days. For rats of the medication group, intragastric perfusion of mesalazine solution was given twice daily for 10 days. After the treatment, the colonic epithelium tissue was sampled. The epithelial cells were purified and cultured to establish an in vitro intestinal epithelial barrier, and added with TNF-α (a pro-inflammatory factor, 100 ng/mL) in the culture medium for 24 h for making an increased epithelial permeability model. The permeability of intestinal epithelial cell barrier was evaluated by detecting the fluorescence yellow transmittance of the TNF-α-incubated cell medium. Western blot was used to detect the expression levels of TNFR1, TRADD, receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1), FADD and zinc finger protein A20 (A20, a ubiquitination enzyme for inhibiting activation of TRADD and RIP1) of the cultured intestinal epithelium cells. The apoptosis of the TNF-α-incubated intestinal epithelial cells was detected by flow cytometry.
After modeling and compared with the normal group, the fluorescence yellow transmittance of intestinal epithelia cells, apoptosis rate, and expression levels of TNFR1, TRADD, and RIP1 proteins were significantly increased (P<0.001, P<0.01), and the expression of A20 was significantly decreased (P<0.01) in the model group. In comparison with the model group, the fluorescence yellow transmittance of intestinal epithelial cells, the apoptosis rate and expression levels of TRADD, RIP1 and FADD were remarkably down-regulated (P<0.001, P<0.01), and the expression of A20 was significantly up-regulated (P<0.01) in both the Moxi and medication groups.
Herbal cake-partitioned moxibustion may down-regulate the permeability of intestinal epithelial barrier and the apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells by way of suppressing TNF-α-mediated cellular apoptosis pathway of intestinal epithelium in CD rats.