DSS | Colitis

Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) for colitis

DSS for colitis

CAS Number: 9011-18-1

About 40 years ago, studies on dextran sulfate for inducing colitis in experimental animals had begun at Pharmacia, Uppsala. The Group in the Chemistry Department run by Tony de Belder, prepared dextran sulfates with different molecular weights and degrees of substitution; work which finally led to the choice of a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) salt with a molecular weight of approximately 40 kDa and sulfate content of 16-19% for studies on colitis in experimental animals (1). The DSS for colitis was administered orally in the drinking water at concentrations of 2-5%. In 1991, production was started on a small scale and made available through TdB Consultancy (now TdB Labs).

Ref (1). A-C.Bylund-Fellenius, L-G.Axelsson and E.Landström. Protective effect of sulfasalazine and olsalazine in dextran sulfate-induced colitis in the mouse. Gastroenterology. 1992;102(4):A600.

The DSS for colitis is supplied as the sodium salt and is stabilized by a small addition of phosphate salts. A certificate of analysis is supplied with each batch. The molecular weight range, sulfur content, moisture etc. are carefully controlled.

Dosage recommendations for DSS induced colitis
A concentration of 2-4% DSS in the drinking water is recommended for obtaining clinical symptoms in mice and variations will depend on the strain, ages, sex and liquid consumption. For rats, somewhat higher concentrations may be required, the recommended dosage is 3.5-5%. The dosage in all experimental animals should also be adjusted in accordance to the requirements of your study – a milder onset of colitis or a more aggressive response. Those wishing to use DSS must consider the purpose of the study and thereby first test a range of doses from 2.5 to 5 % DSS in the drinking water.

DSS structure
Dextran is a polysaccharide derived from the bacterium Leuconostoc mesenteroides B512F and consists of an α-D-(1 – 6) linear glucan with a low content (ca. 5%) of sidechains linked to the 3-carbon of glucose. DSS is a sulfated derivative of a dextran fraction with a mean molecular weight of 40 kDa. The degree of sulfatation of DSS lies between 16 to 19 %. This is a vital parameter in ensuring potency of the product.

Storage and stability of DSS for colitis
DSS is stable for more than 6 years when stored dry in well-sealed containers at ambient temperature

DSS solubility 
DSS for colitis is freely soluble in water.

Applications of DSS
Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) salt is used to induce intestinal inflammation in experimental animals. Read more about applications here.


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