Various animal models showed that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)gamma agonists, when given as a gavage shortly preceding colitis induction, protect against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We have examined the effects of 16 days rosiglitazone treatment via the diet prior to dextran sodium sulphate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. After 7 days DSS in the drinking water, rosiglitazone-fed mice had lost significantly more weight than control mice. Rosiglitazone-treated mice had more diarrhea, weight of colon and spleen were increased, and length of colon was decreased. Histology showed that rosiglitazone-treated mice had more severe colitis, mainly caused by more ulceration, crypt loss, and edema. Immunofluorescence showed a loss of tight junction structure Zonula Occludens protein 1 (ZO-1) in colons of rosiglitazone-treated mice as compared to control mice. Also, serum amyloid P component (SAP) concentrations in plasma were increased. However, concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interferon (IFN)-gamma in colon homogenates, and TNF-alpha in spleen homogenates were significantly decreased, whereas interleukin (IL)-10 in spleen homogenates was increased. Other cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12p70 and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) concentrations showed no differences. In conclusion, 16 days pretreatment with rosiglitazone impaired DSS-induced colitis in mice.