Dietary protocatechuic acid ameliorates dextran sulphate sodium-induced ulcerative colitis and hepatotoxicity in rats
The present study investigated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of dietary protocatechuic acid (PCA), a simple hydrophilic phenolic compound commonly found in many edible vegetables, on dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis and its associated hepatotoxicity in rats. PCA was administered orally at 10 mg kg−1 to dextran sulphate sodium exposed rats for five days. The result revealed that administration of PCA significantly (p < 0.05) prevented the incidence of diarrhea and bleeding, the decrease in the body weight gain, shortening of colon length and the increase in colon mass index in DSS-treated rats. Furthermore, PCA prevented the increase in the plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, markers of liver toxicity and markedly suppressed the DSS-mediated elevation in colonic nitric oxide concentration and myeloperoxidase activity in the treated rats. Administration of PCA significantly protected against colonic and hepatic oxidative damage by increasing the antioxidant status and concomitantly decreased hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidation levels in the DSS-treated rats. Moreover, histological examinations confirmed PCA chemoprotection against colon and liver damage. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that PCA significantly inhibited cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression in the colon of DSS-treated rats. In conclusion, the effective chemoprotective role of PCA in colitis and the associated hepatotoxicity is related to its intrinsic anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.