Intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of xique–xique (Pilosocereus gounellei A. Weber ex K. Schum. Bly. Ex Rowl) juice on acetic acid-induced colitis in rats†
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by severe mucosal damage in the intestine and a deregulated immune response. Natural products derived from plants that are rich in bioactive compounds are used by many patients with IBD. Xique–xique (Pilosocereus gounellei) is a cactus of the Caatinga family that has been used by the local population for food and medicinal purposes. The intestinal anti-inflammatory effect of xique–xique cladode juice was evaluated in the present study. A dose of 5 mL kg−1 had a protective effect on intestinal inflammation, with an improvement in macroscopic damage, and a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers and oxidative stress, in addition to preserving the colonic tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed the downregulation of IL-17, NF-κB, and iNOS, and upregulation of SOCs-1, ZO-1, and MUC-2. These protective effects could be attributed to the phenolic compounds as well as the fibers present in xique–xique juice. Further studies are needed before suggesting the use of xique–xique juice as a new alternative for treating IBD.