Amelioration of experimental colitis by Astragalus membranaceus through anti-oxidation and inhibition of adhesion molecule synthesis

Joshua Ka-Shun Ko, Flora Ying-Lee Lam, Andrew Pok-Lap Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate the protective effects of Astragalus membranaceus (Am) against hapten-induced colitis in male Sprague-Dawley rats as well as its underlying mechanism. Methods: Experimental colitis was induced in rats by enema administration of 2,4-dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS). Rats were either pretreated with Am extract (2 or 4 g/kg, p.o. once daily) starting from 10 d before DNBS enema, or received Am post-treatment (2 or 4 g/kg, p.o. twice daily) on the three consecutive days following DNBS administration. Colonic lesion area and histological damage were determined, while the activities of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and xanthine oxidase, as well as reduced glutathione (GSH) content were measured in the excised colonic tissues. Besides, protein expression of inducible nitrite oxide synthase (iNOS), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and P-selectin was also detected by Western blot analysis. Results: Our findings had shown that both macroscopic lesion area and histological colonic damage induced by DNBS were significantly reduced by both Am pre- and post-treatments. These were accompanied by attenuation of the elevated colonic MPO activity and downregulation of the iNOS, P-selectin, and ICAM-1 protein expression. Besides, deprivation of colonic GSH level under colitis condition was also preserved. Conclusion: These results demonstrate that Am possesses both preventive and therapeutic potential in experimental colitis. The anti-inflammatory actions involve anti-oxidation along with inhibition of adhesion molecule synthesis in the colonic tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5787-5794
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Gastroenterology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adhesion molecules
  • Astragalus membranaceus
  • IBD
  • Reactive oxygen metabolites


Dive into the research topics of 'Amelioration of experimental colitis by Astragalus membranaceus through anti-oxidation and inhibition of adhesion molecule synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this