Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Gastrointestinal Tract - Original Article

Icariin Inhibits Intestinal Inflammation of DSS-Induced Colitis Mice Through Modulating Intestinal Flora Abundance and Modulating p-p65/p65 Molecule


School of Medicine & Holistic Integrative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China


School of Nursing, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China


School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

Turk J Gastroenterol 2021; 32: 382-392
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2021.20282
Read: 933 Downloads: 181 Published: 22 June 2021

Background: Ulcerative colitis, as a kind of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by abdominal pain. This study aimed to investigate the effect of icariin (ICA) on the intestinal microflora of colitis mice.

Methods: Fifteen female C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into the Control group, dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis (DSS) group, and ICA treatment (DSS+ICA) group. The severity of inflammation in DSS-induced colitis mice was evaluated using disease activity scoring (considering weight-loss percentage, stool-shape change, and stool-bleeding scoring). Pathological changes of mice intestinal tract were evaluated using hematoxylin–eosin (HE) staining. Serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Expressions of p65 and p-p65 (p-p65/p65 ratio) were analyzed using Western blot assay. 16S rDNA sequencing was used to analyze the abundance and composition of intestinal microflora.

Results: Compared with DSS group, ICA significantly improved disease activity (P < .05) and reduced inflammatory damage of colon tissues (P < .05) in DSS-induced colitis mice. Compared with the DSS group, mice in the ICA group demonstrated significant weight and colon length (P < .05). ICA significantly inhibited expressions of IL-6 and TNF-α compared to the DSS group (P < .05). p-p65/ p65 ratio in the DSS + ICA group was remarkably enhanced compared to the DSS group (P < .05). ICA significantly reduced the proportion and activity of Bacteroides, Helicobacteraceae, Turicibacter, and significantly increased that of beneficial microflora (Lactobacillus, Lachnospiraceae, Akkermansia), so as improved damages of colon tissues.

Conclusion: ICA can improve intestinal flora abundance and composition of DSS-induced colitis mice, and inhibit tissue damage and inflammatory response through modulating the p-p65/p65 expression.

Cite this article as: Zhang H, Zhuo S, Song D, et al. Icariin inhibits intestinal inflammation of DSS-induced colitis mice through modulating intestinal flora abundance and modulating p-p65/p65 molecule. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2021; 32(4): 382-392.

EISSN 2148-5607