Lycium barbarum polysaccharides reduce intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injuries in rats

Chem Biol Interact. 2013 Aug 25;204(3):166-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2013.05.010. Epub 2013 Jun 3.


Inflammation and oxidative stress exert important roles in intestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) have shown effective antioxidative and immunomodulatory functions in different models. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects and potential mechanisms of LBPs in intestinal IRI. Several free radical-generating and lipid peroxidation models were used to assess the antioxidant activities of LBPs in vitro. A common IRI model was used to induce intestinal injury by clamping and unclamping the superior mesenteric artery in rats. Changes in the malondialdehyde (MDA), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, activated nuclear factor (NF)-κB, intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, E-selectin, and related antioxidant enzyme levels, polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) accumulation, intestinal permeability, and intestinal histology were examined. We found that LBPs exhibited marked inhibitory action against free radicals and lipid peroxidation in vitro. LBPs increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes and reduced intestinal oxidative injury in animal models of intestinal IRI. In addition, LBPs inhibited PMN accumulation and ICAM-1 expression and ameliorated changes in the TNF-α level, NF-κB activation, intestinal permeability, and histology. Our results indicate that LBPs treatment may protect against IRI-induced intestinal damage, possibly by inhibiting IRI-induced oxidative stress and inflammation.

Keywords: Inflammation; Ischemia–reperfusion injury; Lycium barbarum polysaccharides; Oxidative stress; Small intestine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Blotting, Western
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lycium / chemistry
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*


  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • lycium barbarum polysaccharide