Prunus armeniaca L. (Apricot) is a tree cultivated in different parts of the world. Apricot kernel as a good dietary supplement has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other pharmacologic properties which suggest that it may be functional as an anticolitis agent. In this study we evaluated the effects of apricot kernel extract and oil on ulcerative colitis in rats. Rats were fasted for 36 h before the experiment. Colitis was induced by intra-rectal instillation of 50 mg/kg trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid in male Wistar rats. Treatments were started 6 h after colitis induction and continued every 24 h for 5 days. Apricot kernel extract (100, 200, 400 mg/kg p.o. and 100, 400 mg/kg i.p.) and apricot kernel extract/oil (100, 200, 400 mg/kg p.o.) were used as experimental treatments and prednisolone (4 mg/kg p.o. or i.p.) was used as reference drug. On the day 6, colon tissue was removed and macroscopic and pathologic parameters were evaluated. Ulcer index and total colitis index as representative of macroscopic and histologic parameters respectively showed ameliorating effects in experimental groups especially those treated by intraperitoneal administration route. Results also demonstrated that oil fraction was not able to potentiate the effects of extract. These data suggest that apricot kernel extracts (with or without oil) can be introduced for further mechanistic and clinical studies as a complementary medicine for inflammatory bowel disorders.
Keywords: Inflammation; Plant extract; Prunus armeniaca L.; Rats; TNBS; Ulcerative colitis.