DSS-induced colitis produces inflammation-induced bone loss while irisin treatment mitigates the inflammatory state in both gut and bone. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chronic pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) leads to lack of bone accrual, bone loss, and increased fractures. Presently there is no cure, and many IBD treatments incur negative side effects. We previously discovered treatment with exogenous irisin resolved inflammatory changes in the colon, gut lymphatics, and bone in a mild IBD rodent model. Here we assess irisin treatment in severe IBD induced via dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). Male Sprague Dawley rats (2-mo-old) were untreated (Con) or given 2% DSS in drinking water. In week two, half of each group (Con+Ir and DSS+Ir) received injections of recombinant irisin (i.p., 2x/wk). After 4 weeks, gut inflammation was associated with declines in bone mineral density and cancellous bone volume. Furthermore, elevated osteocyte TNF-, interleukin-6, RANKL, OPG, and sclerostin corresponded with higher osteoclast surfaces and lower bone formation rate in DSS animals as well as lower ultimate load. While irisin treatment improved colon inflammation, there were no improvements in bone density or bone mechanical properties; however, irisin elevated bone formation rate, decreased osteoclast surfaces, and reduced osteocyte pro-inflammatory factors. These data highlight the negative impact of chronic gut inflammation on bone as well as the therapeutic potential of irisin as an anti-inflammatory treatment.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Metzger, C. E., Narayanan, S. A., Elizondo, J. P., Carter, A. M., Zawieja, D. C., Hogan, H. A., & Bloomfield, S. A.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Metzger, Corinne E||Narayanan, S Anand||Elizondo, Jon P||Carter, Anne Michal||Zawieja, David C||Hogan, Harry A||Bloomfield, Susan A

publication date

  • January 2019