Published online Sep 21, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i35.5272
Peer-review started: April 1, 2020
First decision: April 25, 2020
Revised: April 29, 2020
Accepted: August 25, 2020
Article in press: August 25, 2020
Published online: September 21, 2020
Sulfasalazine has been used as a standard-of-care in ulcerative colitis for decades, however, it results in severe adverse symptoms, such as hepatotoxicity, blood disorders, male infertility, and hypospermia. Accordingly, the new treatment strategy has to enhance pharmacological efficacy and stimultaneously minimize side effects.
To compare the anti-inflammatory action of sulfasalazine alone or in combination with herbal medicine for ulcerative colitis in a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis mouse model.
To induce ulcerative colitis, mice received 5% DSS in drinking water for 7 d. Animals were divided into five groups (n = 9 each) for use as normal (non-DSS), DSS controls, DSS + sulfasalazine (30 mg/kg)-treatment experimentals, DSS + sulfasalazine (60 mg/kg)-treatment experimentals, DSS + sulfasalazine (30 mg/kg) + Citrus unshiu peel and Bupleuri radix mixture (30 mg/kg) (SCPB)-treatment experimentals.
The SCPB treatment showed an outstanding effectiveness in counteracting the ulcerative colitis, as evidenced by reduction in body weight, improvement in crypt morphology, increase in antioxidant defenses, down-regulation of proinflammatory proteins and cytokines, and inhibition of proteins related to apoptosis.
SCPB may represent a promising alternative therapeutic against ulcerative colitis, without inducing adverse effects.
Core Tip: Sulfasalazine has been used widely as a standard-of-care in ulcerative colitis; however, it is associated with a spectrum of side effects after long-term and high-dose intake. Since a single dose of sulfasalazine cannot provide satisfactory therapeutic results, we conducted a comparative evaluation of the pharmacological effect of sulfasalazine alone and when used in combination with Citrus unshiu peel and Bupleuri radix mixture in an experimentally-induced ulcerative colitis mouse model.