Published online Mar 21, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i11.1156
Peer-review started: November 12, 2019
First decision: December 23, 2019
Revised: December 27, 2019
Accepted: February 21, 2020
Article in press: February 21, 2020
Published online: March 21, 2020
Intestinal inflammation is a common digestive tract disease, which is usually treated with hormone medicines. Hormone medicines are effective to some extent, but long-term use of them may bring about many complications.
To explore the protective effects of panax notoginseng saponin (PNS) against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced intestinal inflammatory injury through phosphoinositide-3-kinase protein kinase B (PI3K/AKT) signaling pathway inhibition in rats.
Colitis rat models were generated via DSS induction, and rats were divided into control (no modeling), DSS, DSS + PNS 50 mg/k, and DSS + PNS 100 mg/kg groups. Then, the intestinal injury, oxidative stress parameters, inflammatory indices, tight junction proteins, apoptosis, macrophage polarization, and TLR4/AKT signaling pathway in colon tissues from rats in each of the groups were detected. The PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in the colon tissue of rats was blocked using the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway inhibitor, LY294002.
Compared with rats in the control group, rats in the DSS group showed significantly shortened colon lengths, and significantly increased disease activity indices, oxidative stress reactions and inflammatory indices, as well as significantly decreased expression of tight junction-associated proteins. In addition, the DSS group showed significantly increased apoptotic cell numbers, and showed significantly increased M1 macrophages in spleen and colon tissues. They also showed significantly decreased M2 macrophages in colon tissues, as well as activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway (all P < 0.05). Compared with rats in the DSS group, rats in the DSS + PNS group showed significantly lengthened colon lengths, decreased disease activity indices, and significantly alleviated oxidative stress reactions and inflammatory responses. In addition, this group showed significantly increased expression of tight junction-associated proteins, significantly decreased apoptotic cell numbers, and significantly decreased M1 macrophages in spleen and colon tissues. This group further showed significantly increased M2 macrophages in colon tissues, and significantly suppressed activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, as well as a dose dependency (all P < 0.05). When the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was inhibited, the apoptosis rate of colon tissue cells in the DSS + LY294002 group was significantly lower than that of the DSS group (P < 0.05).
PNS can protect rats against DSS-induced intestinal inflammatory injury by inhibiting the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, and therefore may be potentially used in the future as a drug for colitis.
Core tip: Panax notoginseng saponin is a drug widely used for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, with good proven inhibitory effects on inflammation. Our study also found that panax notoginseng saponin exerted good inhibitory effects on inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis.