Ginger Extract Suppresses Inflammatory Response and Maintains Barrier Function in Human Colonic Epithelial Caco-2 Cells Exposed to Inflammatory Mediators

J Food Sci. 2017 May;82(5):1264-1270. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13695. Epub 2017 Mar 29.


The beneficial effects of ginger in the management of gastrointestinal disturbances have been reported. In this study, the anti-inflammatory potential of ginger extract was assessed in a cellular model of gut inflammation. In addition, the effects of ginger extract and its major active compounds on intestinal barrier function were evaluated. The response of Caco-2 cells following exposure to a mixture of inflammatory mediators [interleukin [IL]-1β, 25 ng/mL; lipopolysaccharides [LPS], 10 ng/mL; tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, 50 ng/mL; and interferon [INF]-γ, 50 ng/mL] were assessed by measuring the levels of secreted IL-6 and IL-8. In addition, the mRNA levels of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase were measured. Moreover, the degree of nuclear factor (NF)-κB inhibition was examined, and the intestinal barrier function was determined by measuring the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran transfer. It was observed that ginger extract and its constituents improved inflammatory responses by decreasing the levels of nitrite, PGE2, IL-6, and IL-8 via NF-κB inhibition. The ginger extract also increased the TEER and decreased the transfer of FITC-dextran from the apical side of the epithelium to the basolateral side. Taken together, these results show that ginger extract may be developed as a functional food for the maintenance of gastrointestinal health.

Keywords: Caco-2; NF-κB; ginger extract; gut inflammation; intestinal barrier function.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate / analogs & derivatives
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Ginger / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation Mediators / toxicity*
  • Interleukin-6
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Dextrans
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran
  • NOS2 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate