The Protective Effects of 18β-Glycyrrhetinic Acid on Helicobacter pylori-Infected Gastric Mucosa in Mongolian Gerbils

Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:4943793. doi: 10.1155/2016/4943793. Epub 2016 Feb 24.


18β-Glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA), a major component of Glycyrrhiza glabra, is widely used therapeutically in clinic. In this study, the effect of GRA on Helicobacter pylori- (H. pylori-) infected gastritis was investigated in Mongolian gerbils in vivo. The gerbils were randomly divided into groups: uninfected; H. pylori-infected; H. pylori + antibiotics (clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and esomeprazole); and H. pylori + GRA. The gastric intraluminal pH value, histopathological changes, and the expression levels of inflammation-related cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α, COX-2, and iNOS) were investigated. The results showed that, in the H. pylori + GRA group, the intraluminal gastric pH value was lower (2.14 ± 0.08 versus 3.17 ± 0.23, P < 0.05), erosion and hyperplasia were alleviated, the infiltration of neutrophils and mononuclear cells was attenuated (P < 0.05), and the expression levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, COX-2, and iNOS were decreased (P < 0.05) compared with the H. pylori-infected group. There was no significant difference in results between the H. pylori + GRA group and the H. pylori + antibiotics group. This study indicated that GRA significantly attenuated H. pylori-infected gastritis in gerbils and has the potential to be developed as a new therapeutic drug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastric Mucosa / microbiology
  • Gerbillinae
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid / pharmacology
  • Helicobacter Infections / prevention & control*
  • Helicobacter pylori / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid