- Colitis, an inflammation of the colon, is a well-characterized massive tissue injury. Cytosolic phospholipase A2 α (cPLA2 α) upregulation plays an important role in the development of several inflammatory diseases. The aim of the present study was to define the role of cPLA2 α upregulation in the development of colitis. We used a mouse model of dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis. Immunoblotting analysis showed that cPLA2 α and NF-κB were upregulated and activated in the colon from day 2 of colitis induction. This molecular event preceded the development of the disease, as determined by Disease Activity Index score, body weight, colon length, and the expression of colonic inflammatory markers, including neutrophil infiltration detected by myeloperoxidase and by NIMP-R14, ICAM-1, COX-2, iNOS upregulation and LTB4 and TNF-α secretion. Prevention of cPLA2 α upregulation and activity in the colon by i.v. administration of specific antisense oligonucleotides against cPLA2 α 1 day prior and every day of exposure to dextran sulfate sodium significantly impeded the development of the disease and prevented NF-κB activation, neutrophils infiltration into the colonic mucosa, and expression of proinflammatory proteins in the colon. Our results demonstrate a critical role of cPLA2 α upregulation in inflammation and development of murine colitis.