Gastroprotective effects of sulforaphane and thymoquinone against acetylsalicylic acid-induced gastric ulcer in rats

J Surg Res. 2016 Jun 15;203(2):348-59. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.03.027. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


Background: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) commonly cause gastric ulcers (GUs). We investigated the effects of sulforaphane (SF) and thymoquinone (TQ) in rats with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)-induced GUs.

Materials and methods: Thirty-five male Wistar-Albino rats were divided into five groups: control; ASA; ASA with vehicle; ASA + SF; and ASA + TQ. Compounds were administered by oral gavage before GU induction. GUs were induced by intragastric administration of ASA. Four hours after GU induction, rats were killed and stomachs excised. Total oxidant status, total antioxidant status, total thiol, nitric oxide, asymmetric dimethylarginine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels, superoxide dismutase activity, and glutathione peroxidase activity in tissue were measured. Messenger RNA expression of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolases, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells were analyzed. Renal tissues were evaluated by histopathologic and immunohistochemical means.

Results: SF and TQ reduced GU indices, apoptosis, total oxidant status, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, and inducible nitric oxide synthase expressions (P < 0.001, P = 0.001). Both examined compounds increased superoxide dismutase activity, glutathione peroxidase activity, total antioxidant status, total thiol, nitric oxide levels, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolases, HO-1, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, and HO-1 expressions (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: These results suggest that pretreatment with SF or TQ can reduce ASA-induced GUs via anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiapoptotic effects. These compounds may be useful therapeutic strategies to prevent the gastrointestinal adverse effects that limit nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs use.

Keywords: Gastric ulcer; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; Sulforaphane; Thymoquinone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Aspirin / adverse effects*
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacology*
  • Benzoquinones / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology*
  • Isothiocyanates / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stomach Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Stomach Ulcer / metabolism
  • Stomach Ulcer / pathology
  • Stomach Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Sulfoxides
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Benzoquinones
  • Biomarkers
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • sulforaphane
  • thymoquinone
  • Aspirin