Baicalin may alleviate inflammatory infiltration in dextran sodium sulfate-induced chronic ulcerative colitis via inhibiting IL-33 expression

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Aims:To investigate the therapeutic effect of baicalin treatment in chronic ulcerative colitis (UC), and explore the potential anti-inflammation mechanism(s) via IL-33 pathway.Main methods:UC model were established by giving three cycles of 5-day 2% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) with two intervals of 14-day recovery in mice, totaling 43 days. At the 13th day of the UC modeling, mice received baicalin at doses of 50, 100, or 150 mg/kg, respectively. Disease activity index (DAI) assessment as well as HE and PAS staining were performed. Serum levels of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 were determined by ELISA. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and nitric oxide (NO) contents in colon were measured. The expressions of IL-33 and Ly6/G were examined by immunochemistry. And contents of IL-33 protein and NF-κB-related proteins were tested by Western blot.Key findings:Morphological and histological analyses revealed that baicalin administration had a significant effect on reducing the severity of DSS-induced UC in mice. Besides, baicalin treatment significantly reduced the levels of MPO and NO. Moreover, increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, have been identified in damaged colon tissue, which was noticeably reduced by baicalin treatment. Our data demonstrated that protein levels of IL-33 and NF-κB p65 were elevated in colon tissues of chronic UC mice. Baicalin treatment significantly suppressed levels of IL-33 and NF-κB p65, whereas levels of IκB-α were increased.Significance:Baicalin treatment effectively alleviated DSS-induced chronic UC, and the protective mechanisms may involve inhibition of IL-33 expression and subsequent NF-κB activation.

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