The protective effect and action mechanism of Vaccinium myrtillus L. on gastric ulcer in mice

Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1160-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3413. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


Vaccinium myrtillus L. anthocyanoside (VMA) is used as a folk medicine to treat diseases related to gastric ulcers in northern Europe. However, the effects of VMA and its detailed mechanism on gastric ulcer have not been investigated sufficiently. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effects of VMA on gastric mucosal damage in a murine gastric ulcer model. First the effects of VMA on ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in mice were investigated. Then, the levels of lipid peroxide in murine stomach homogenates were measured to investigate the antioxidative effects of VMA. In addition, the free radical scavenging activity of VMA and its main anthocyanidins were evaluated by electron spin resonance measurement. Oral administration of VMA (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) significantly protected gastric mucosa against HCl/ethanol-induced gastric ulcers. Furthermore, VMA inhibited lipid peroxide levels in a concentration-dependent manner and showed high scavenging activity against the superoxide anion radical (·O(2) (-) ) and the hydroxyl radical (·OH). Anthocyanidins also showed scavenging activity against the ·O(2) (-) , while only delphinidin showed high scavenging activity against the ·OH. These findings indicate that the protective effects of VMA on HCl/ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury may be partially due to the antiperoxidative effects of anthocyanidins.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / isolation & purification
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Europe
  • Free Radical Scavengers / isolation & purification
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Hydroxyl Radical / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Stomach Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Ulcer / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Vaccinium myrtillus / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxides
  • Hydroxyl Radical