Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colonic mucosa. Gum Arabic (GA) has been reported to exert anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic activity. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of GA on disease activity in an experimental model of colitis. Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) was used to induce colitis in C57BL/6 mice and the animals were then switched to normal drinking water to monitor recovery. Mice received 140 g/L GA before (pre-GA group) or after (post-GA group) induction of colitis. Disease activity and recovery were assessed by changes in body weight, disease activity index (DAI), and histological assessment. Gene expression of proinflammatory, anti-inflammatory, and fibrotic markers was measured in colonic tissues. Mice in the pre-GA group showed an increase in body weight, with no differences in DAI scores, during the recovery phase and had lower histological colitis scores than mice in the post-GA group, which showed higher DAI and histological scores during the recovery phase. During the recovery phase, mice in the pre-GA group showed increased expression of proinflammatory markers, while gene expression of the fibrotic markers, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and procollagen I, was reduced. The reduced fibrotic marker expression was associated with reduced collagen staining and increased epithelial cell proliferation. Administration of GA had protective and alleviative effects on the severity of DSS-induced colitis, with a reduction in colonic fibrosis and TGFβ1 expression. These data warrant further in vitro and in vivo investigations on the effect of GA on fibroblast activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas