Glabridin, a functional compound of liquorice, attenuates colonic inflammation in mice with dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis

Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Jan;151(1):165-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2007.03539.x. Epub 2007 Nov 14.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by detrimental immune reactivity in the gut, and the imbalance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory reactivity. The aims of this study were to determine whether oral administration of glabridin, a functional component of liquorice, could ameliorate dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, as well as to understand the possible underlying mechanisms. Acute experimental colitis was induced in BALB/c mice by treatment with 5% DSS for 7 days. Glabridin (10 or 50 mg/kg/day) was given for 7 days. Treatment with glabridin significantly attenuated mortality, loss of body weight, shortening of the colon and severe clinical symptoms. This was associated with a remarkable amelioration of the disruption of the colonic architecture, a significant reduction in colonic myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and the production of inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin (PG) E2, and proinflammatory cytokines. These results suggest that glabridin-mediated anti-inflammatory action on colorectal sites may be a useful therapeutic approach to IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colon
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Dinoprostone / analysis
  • Female
  • Glycyrrhiza*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Isoflavones
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Models, Animal
  • Neutrophil Activation / drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Peroxidase / analysis
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Isoflavones
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Peroxidase
  • glabridin
  • Dinoprostone