Efficacy of quercetin derivatives in prevention of ulcerative colitis in rats

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Reactive oxygen species has been implicated to contribute significantly to tissue injury associated with ulcerative colitis. Thus compounds with antioxidant properties could be potential therapeutic agents in this disease. Flavonoid compounds are known to possess antioxidative and antiinflammatory properties. Two derivatives of the flavonoid quercetin (Q), chloronaphthoquinone quercetin (CNC) and monochloropivaloyl quercetin (MCP), showed improved antioxidant properties and moreover, they efficiently inhibited aldose reductase activity in vitro. The aim of the work was to test the potential efficacy of quercetin and these synthetic derivatives in vivo in prevention of intestinal inflammation during ulcerative colitis in rats. Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of acetic acid (4% solution). The control group received the same volume of saline. The vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and the drugs Q, CNC or MCP were administered orally two hours and then one hour before the acetic acid or saline instillation. After 48 hours, the animals were sacrificed and the colon was weighed, measured and scored for visible damage. Acetic acid triggered an intense inflammatory response of the colon, characterised by haemorrhage, ulceration and bowel wall thickening. From the drugs tested, only CNC (2 × 50 mg/kg) effectively depressed inflammatory damage of the colon. The mechanism of this beneficial effect remains to be elucidated.

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