Allyl Isothiocyanate Ameliorates Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Colitis in Mouse by Enhancing Tight Junction and Mucin Expression

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jul 12;19(7):2025. doi: 10.3390/ijms19072025.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic or recurrent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Even though the current strategies to treat IBD include anti-inflammatory drugs and immune modulators, these treatments have side-effects. New strategies are, therefore, required to overcome the limitations of the therapies. In this study, we investigated the anti-colitic effects of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which is an active ingredient present in Wasabia japonica. The DSS-induced colitis model in the mouse was used to mimic human IBD and we observed that AITC treatment ameliorated the severity of colitis. We further studied the mechanism involved to ameliorate the colitis. To investigate the involvement of AITC on the intestinal barrier function, the effect on the intercellular tight junction was evaluated in the Caco-2 cell line while mucin expression was assessed in the LS174T cell line. AITC positively regulated tight junction proteins and mucin 2 (MUC2) against DSS-induced damage or depletion. Our data of in vivo studies were also consistent with the in vitro results. Furthermore, we observed that MUC2 increased by AITC is dependent on ERK signaling. In conclusion, we propose that AITC can be considered as a new strategy for treating IBD by modulating tight junction proteins and mucin.

Keywords: Wasabia japonica; allyl isothiocyanate (AITC); colitis; dextran sodium sulfate (DSS); goblet cell; intestinal epithelial barrier; mucin; mucin 2 (MUC2); tight junction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Dextran Sulfate / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / metabolism
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / pathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Isothiocyanates / chemistry
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mucin-2 / biosynthesis*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*
  • Tight Junctions / pathology
  • Wasabia / chemistry


  • Isothiocyanates
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • MUC2 protein, human
  • Muc2 protein, mouse
  • Mucin-2
  • lipopolysaccharide, Escherichia coli O111 B4
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • allyl isothiocyanate