The flesh ethanolic extract of Hylocereus polyrhizus exerts anti-inflammatory effects and prevents murine colitis

Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;35(6):1333-1339. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Background & aims: IBD is a chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by mucosal inflammation and epithelial damage. Biologic therapy has significantly improved the course of the disease but there are still a high percentage of patients that do not respond to current therapies. We aim to determine the effects of the flesh ethanolic extract of Hylocereus polyrhizus (EH) in a mice model of colitis induced by TNBS.

Methods: Balb/c mice received TNBS (175 mg/kg, 100 μl, i.r.) and six and thirty hours later were administered with EH (1 g/kg, i.p.). Mice were weighted daily and after sacrificing (2 and 4 days after TNBS) we analyzed mucosal histology, myeloperoxidase activity (MPO), the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules (qPCR) and NF-κB and Iκβ-α protein levels. The chemical characterization of the EH was determined by LC-MS/MS.

Results: The administration of EH to TNBS-treated mice prevented (P < 0.05) the loss of body weight and significantly reduced in the colon: a) histological damage score, b) MPO enzymatic activity c) the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules and d) Iκβ-α degradation and nuclear NF-κβ protein levels. The LC-MS analysis detected metabolites such as polyphenols and fatty acids.

Conclusion: Systemic administration of the ethanolic extract of H. polyrhizus exerts an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents murine colitis induced by TNBS.

Keywords: Cytokines; Experimental colitis; Hylocereus polyrhizus; Inflammation; Inflammatory bowel disease; NF-κB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents*
  • Cactaceae / chemistry*
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethanol
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Ethanol
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid