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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Barbaloin Attenuates Mucosal Damage in Experimental Models of Rat Colitis by Regulating Inflammation and the AMPK Signaling Pathway

Ling Gai, Likai Chu, Rui Xia, Qian Chen, Xingwei Sun

Department of Chemotherapy, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:10045-10056

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.918935

Available online:

Published: 2019-12-27


BACKGROUND: Barbaloin is one of the main medicinal ingredients of aloe vera, which displays various anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptosis properties in several inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. Our study evaluated its efficacy against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ulcerative colitis (UC) rat models were established in vivo, and after barbaloin treatment, body weight and inflammation index were measured. Additionally, the signaling mechanism by which barbaloin protects against UC was investigated using LPS-infected Caco-2 cells.
RESULTS: Barbaloin could significantly reverse UC-induced weight loss and colon injury. Further, it could effectively increase the mRNA expression of IL-4 and IL-10 in colon tissues, while decreasing the expression of IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-1ß, and TNF-alpha. Furthermore, it significantly enhanced UC-inhibited atresia band 1 (ZO-1), occludin, and E-cadherin, and was also found to activate the AMPK signaling pathway. Additionally, si-RAN-induced knockdown, and overexpression assay showed that barbaloin could inhibit the UC-enhanced MLCK signaling pathway by activating the AMPK signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Barbaloin can effectively inhibit inflammation and reverse epithelial barrier function to protect against UC, possibly via activation of the AMPK signaling pathway.

Keywords: AMP-Activated Protein Kinases, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Colitis, Ulcerative