The protective potential of dandelion on acute hepatitis, lung injury and colorectal cancer has recently been revealed. Importantly, ulcerative colitis (UC), a clinically defined inflammatory bowel disease, accelerates the risk of colorectal cancer. However, studies focusing on the activity of dandelion on UC are extremely limited. In the present study, we found that an aqueous extract of dandelion root increases cell viability and decreases apoptosis in dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-incubated NCM460 human colonic epithelial cells, probably through removing the production of reaction oxygen species and blocking nuclear factor-kappaB signaling. We then examined the anti-colitis efficacy of this extract in an in vivo study. We detected that dandelion root extract efficiently ameliorates progressive acute injury as demonstrated by a reduction in body weight loss, severity scores of disease index and shortened colon length during DSS treatment, as well as reducing the inflammatory conditions and oxidative stress in the colon of DSS-induced mice. Our study clearly demonstrates that dandelion has a strong cytoprotective effect on NCM460 colonocytes and shows powerful defense on an established experimental mouse model of DSS-induced UC. Therefore, dandelion root extract can be an effective anti-colitis complex mixture and can provide a complementary alternative to currently available therapeutic intervention in UC.
Keywords: Dandelion; Dextran sodium sulfate; Mouse; NCM460 cell; Ulcerative colitis.