Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.)

Mice with infectious colitis exhibit linear growth failure and subsequent catch-up growth related to systemic inflammation and IGF-1.

PMID 28385287


In developing communities, intestinal infection is associated with poor weight gain and linear-growth failure. Prior translational animal models have focused on weight gain investigations into key contributors to linear growth failure have been lacking. We hypothesized that murine intestinal infection with Citrobacter rodentium would induce linear-growth failure associated with systemic inflammation and suppressed serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). We evaluated 4 groups of mice infected or sham-infected on day-of-life 28: uninfected-controls, wild-type C rodentium-infected, partially-attenuated C rodentium-infected (with deletion of 3 serine protease genes involved in colonization), and pair-fed (given the amount of daily food consumed by the wild-type C rodentium group). Relative to the uninfected group, mice infected with wild-type C rodentium exhibited temporal associations of lower food intake, weight loss, linear-growth failure, higher IL-6 and TNF-α and lower IGF-1. However, relative to the pair-fed group, the C rodentium-infected group only differed significantly by linear growth and systemic inflammatory cytokines. Between post-infection days 15-20, the infected group exhibited resolution of systemic inflammation. Between days 16-20, both wild-type C rodentium and pair-fed groups exhibited rapid linear-growth velocities exceeding the uninfected and mutant C rodentium groups; during this time levels of IGF-1 increased to match the uninfected group. We submit this as a model providing important opportunities to study mechanisms of catch-up growth related to intestinal inflammation. We conclude that in addition to known effects of weight loss, infection with C rodentium induces linear-growth failure potentially related to systemic inflammation and low levels of IGF-1, with catch-up of linear growth following resolution of inflammation.