Cape Gooseberry [Physalis peruviana L.] Calyces Ameliorate TNBS Acid-induced Colitis in Rats

J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Nov;9(11):1004-15. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv132. Epub 2015 Jul 27.


Background and aims: Physalis peruviana [cape gooseberry] is highly appreciated for its commercial value. The Colombian ecotype is in great demand in the international market, particularly for the unique morphological characteristics of the calyx, which has extended use as a traditional herbal remedy in Colombia because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In this work, the anti-inflammatory activity of the total ethereal extract of Physalis peruviana calyces was evaluated in preventive and therapeutic protocols in a TNBS acid-induced colitis rat model.

Methods: Colitis was induced by intrarectal administration of TNBS. An evaluation of macroscopic and histopathological parameters in colonic tissue was performed, along with the determination of myeloperoxidase enzyme activity, cytokine levels and gene expression. Additionally, effects on nitric oxide release by lipopolysaccharide [LPS]-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages and the scavenging activity of DPPH and ABTS free radicals were determined.

Results: The treatment with the Physalis peruviana extract produced a significant improvement in the colonic tissue at both macroscopic and histological levels. IL-1β and TNF-α production was reduced by the extract in both experimental approaches. The groups treated with Physalis peruviana showed a tendency to MUC2 up-regulation and down-regulation of COX-2, iNOS, NLRP3, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 expression. Nitric oxide release in RAW264.7 macrophages was significantly inhibited.

Conclusions: The Physalis peruviana extract showed intestinal anti-inflammatory activity in the TNBS-induced colitis model, placing this species' calyx, a natural derivative, as a promising source of metabolites that could be used in treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.

Keywords: IBD; Physalis peruviana; TNBS; inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Colitis / prevention & control
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Flowers*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Physalis*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid