The recurrent TNBS-colitis model in BALB/c mice has been proposed as a model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease with a shifting pattern of local cytokines with the expression of Th1 cytokines during the early phase, Th17 cytokines during the intermediate phase and Th2 cytokines during late fibrotic stages. In this study, we evaluated the development of pathology in time-in conjunction with genome-wide gene expression in the colons-in response to three weekly intrarectal instillations of TNBS. During this time-frame mice develop colitis with extensive cellular infiltration of (sub)mucosa and mildly to moderately affected crypt architecture. These pathological processes were sensitive to local treatment with budesonide. Gene expression profiling confirmed an acute phase response after each intrarectal TNBS-challenge. In addition, a chronic inflammatory process developed over time particularly evident from a gradual increase in expression of mast cell related genes. The changes in pathological hallmarks were consistent with a temporal expression of mRNA encoding a selection of chemokines. In conclusion, the early stages of the recurrent TNBS-colitis model reflect several aspects of inflammatory bowel disease which are sensitive to immunomodulation.