Background: Activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB has been shown to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC), and tetrandrine, a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the Chinese herb Radix Stephania tetrandra, has been demonstrated to be a potent inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation. The purpose of the study was to investigate effects of tetrandrine on experimental model of UC.
Materials and methods: Tetrandrine was administered in experimental colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). The disease activity index (DAI) and histological score were observed. NF-kappaB DNA binding activity was assessed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-1beta were measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: A significant improvement was observed in DAI and histological score in mice with tetrandrine, and the increase in NF-kappaB DNA binding activity, myeloperoxidase activity, IL-1beta, and TNF-alpha in mice with DSS-induced colitis was significantly reduced following administration of tetrandrine.
Conclusion: The administration of tetrandrine leads to an amelioration of DSS-induced colitis, suggesting administration of tetrandrine may provide a therapeutic approach for UC.