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DSS colitis - Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS for colitis)

DSS Colitis

, Photo - distal colon H&E staining when given mice 3% DSS in drinking water for 7 days

DSS colitis

CAS no. 9011-18-1

The DSS is supplied as the sodium salt and is stabilised by a small addition of phosphate salts. DSS is stable indefinitely when stored in well sealed containers at room temperature. A certificate of analysis is supplied with each batch. The molecular weight range, sulfur content, moisture etc are carefully controlled.

Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) with a mol. wt. of approx. 40000 when administered orally in the drinking water has been found to induce colitis in experimental animals. Concentrations from 2 to 5% have been used and symptoms develop within one week. The recommended concentrations of DSS for mice are 2.5-3.5% and this will depend, eg. on the strain, age and sex of the animals. For rats somewhat higher concentrations may be required 3.5-5%. It will also depend on whether your study requires a milder onset of colitis or a more aggresive response.

Reference: A-C. Bylund-Fellenius, E.Landström, L-G.Axelsson and T.Midtvedt,Microb.Ecol.,1994:7;207.

Read our brief advice on using DSS for Colitis

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A word of advice using DSS for Colitis

TdB Consultancy has marketed DSS since 1980s and had participated in its development for colitis research. During these years we have had very few complaints from customers and these were evaluated carefully and, in most cases, the problems were traced to variations in batches of the animals used.

It should be stressed that the nature of the colitis (severe or mild) induced is determined by the concentration of DSS used, although the strain of animals, age and sex may also influence the results. For those starting a study for the first time, we have recommended that a trial run with two or three concentrations (e.g. 2, 2.5 and 3% DSS) be performed to obtain the symptoms required.

We have noted that one supplier of DSS has recently included on its web-site, an absurd comparison of samples of DSS from different suppliers. The dose used appears to be 2%, the number of animals used not stated and presumably the single line is a mean value.

It should first be understood that manufacture of dextran derivatives (or any polymer product) inevitably leads to small differences between batches. It is standard practice to set ranges for each of the analytical parameters.  Has a study with one batch any value? - one needs to compare at least five batches. We suggest the time be spent on research.

Not an expert or wanting a general description, read up on the basics about colitis on wikipedia