Dietary supplementation of krill oil attenuates inflammation and oxidative stress in experimental ulcerative colitis in rats

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;47(1):49-58. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2011.634025. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of krill oil (KO) on inflammation and redox status in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats.

Materials and methods: Thirty male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: Control, DSS, and DSS + KO 5% in a 4-week diet study. Colitis was induced by 5% DSS in the drinking water the last week of the experiment. Weight and disease activity index (DAI), colon length, histological combined score (HCS), colon levels of selected cytokines and prostaglandins, markers of protein oxidative damage, fatty acid profile, and expression of selected genes were measured.

Results: Rats in the DSS group increased their DAI and HCS compared with healthy controls. The colon length was significantly preserved after KO diet. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β were elevated in the DSS group compared with controls. Cytokines and HCS were nonsignificantly lower in the KO versus the DSS group. Prostaglandin (PG)E(3) increased significantly in the KO versus the other groups. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ expression was nonsignificantly increased while PPAR-γ coactivator 1α (Pparg1α) expression increased significantly after KO. The levels of protein oxidation markers decreased significantly.

Conclusions: KO showed protective potential against DSS colitis based on the preservation of colon length, reduction of oxidative markers and the consistent beneficial changes of HCS, cytokine, and (PG)E(3) levels, as well as PPAR-γ and Pparg1α expression compared with DSS alone. These findings indicate an anti-inflammatory and a protein antioxidant effect of KO.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alprostadil / analogs & derivatives
  • Alprostadil / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Chemokine CXCL1 / drug effects
  • Chemokine CXCL1 / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / chemically induced
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology*
  • Colon / pathology*
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Euphausiacea
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-1beta / drug effects
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • PPAR gamma / drug effects
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / drug effects
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transcription Factors / drug effects
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / drug effects
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • PPAR gamma
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Ppargc1a protein, rat
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • prostaglandin E3
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Alprostadil