Gingerols are phenolic compounds in ginger (Zingiber officinale), which have been reported to exhibit antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. The present study aimed at evaluating the possible pharmacologic activity of 6-gingerol in a mouse model of dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis. Adult male mice were exposed to DSS in drinking water alone or co-treated with 6-gingerol orally at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg for 7 days. Disease activity index, inflammatory mediators, oxidative stress indices, and histopathological examination of the colons were evaluated to monitor treatment-related effects of 6-gingerol in DSS-treated mice. Administration of 6-gingerol significantly reversed the DSS-mediated reduction in body weight, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and colon shrinkage to near normal. Moreover, 6-gingerol significantly suppressed the circulating concentrations of interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor alpha and restored the colonic nitric oxide concentration and myeloperoxidase activity to normal in DSS-treated mice. 6-Gingerol efficiently prevented colonic oxidative damage by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione content, decreasing the hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde levels, and ameliorated the colonic atrophy in DSS-treated mice. 6-Gingerol suppressed the induction of ulcerative colitis in mice via antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities, and may thus represent a potential anticolitis drug candidate.
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