Glucosamine, a naturally occurring amino monosaccharide, suppresses dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in rats

Int J Mol Med. 2008 Sep;22(3):317-23.


Glucosamine, a naturally occurring amino monosaccharide, is widely used to treat osteoarthritis in humans. Furthermore, glucosamine exhibits an anti-inflammatory action by inhibiting the activation of neutrophils, chondrocytes and synoviocytes. Recently, we revealed that glucosamine suppresses cytokine-induced activation of intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. In the present study therefore, we investigated whether glucosamine exhibits the anti-inflammatory effect in vivo, using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats, a model of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The results indicated that glucosamine improved the clinical symptoms (evaluated by disease activity index), and suppressed colonic inflammation (evaluated by colon length and weight/length ratio) and tissue injury (evaluated by histological damage score) in DSS-induced colitis. Furthermore, glucosamine inhibited the activation of intestinal epithelial cells, as evidenced by the suppressed phosphorylation of NF-kappaB in the intestinal mucosa of DSS-induced colitis. Collectively, these observations suggest that glucosamine is likely to suppress the activation of intestinal epithelial cells in vivo, thereby possibly exhibiting anti-inflammatory action in a DSS-induced rat colitis model. Thus, glucosamine could prove to be a useful agent for IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colitis / pathology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dextran Sulfate / pharmacology*
  • Glucosamine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Monosaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Biological Products
  • CD11b Antigen
  • Cytokines
  • Monosaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Glucosamine