Ponciretin attenuates ethanol-induced gastric damage in mice by inhibiting inflammatory responses

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Poncirin (PO) and isosakuranetin (or ponciretin [PT]) are compounds found in fruits of the genus Citrus. They are frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of inflammation and asthma. Therefore, we examined their anti-gastritis effects in vitro and in vivo.


The anti-inflammatory effects of PO and PT were examined using ethanol- or LPS-stimulated KATO III cells. Gastritis was induced in ICR mice via intragastric injection of absolute ethanol. Levels of inflammatory markers were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction.


Treatment with PT or PO inhibited the secretion of interleukin (IL)-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in ethanol- or LPS-stimulated KATO III cells. They also reduced the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). Pre-treatment with PT or PO significantly protected against ethanol-induced hemorrhagic gastritis, characterized by edema, tissue erosions, and mucosal friability in mice. Treatment with PT or PO suppressed ethanol-induced NF-κB activation and the release of TNF, IL-8, and IFN-γ. The protective effect of PT was greater than that of PO and comparable to ranitidine, a positive control.


PT may attenuate ethanol-induced gastritis by inhibiting the infiltration of immune cells, including neutrophils, via the regulation of CXCL4 (or IL-8) secretion and the activation NF-κB.

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