Neutrophil infiltration, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production have been implicated in development and progression of ulcerative colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by ulcerating inflammation of the mucosal layer generally restricted to the colon. The side effects, safety and human intolerance are limitations of the currently approved treatments for UC. Hesperidin methyl chalcone (HMC) is a flavonoid used to treat chronic venous disease, which shows anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties in pre-clinical studies, however, its effects on colitis have never been described. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the protective effects of HMC in a mouse model of acetic acid-induced colitis. Treatment with HMC significantly reduced neutrophil infiltration, edema, colon shortening, macro and microscopic damages induced by intracolonic administration of acetic acid. The improvement of colitis after HMC treatment is related to the increase in colon antioxidant status, and the inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-33 in the colon. We observed, moreover, that HMC inhibited NF-κB activation in the colon, which might explain the reduction of the cytokines we observed. Finally, these results demonstrate a novel applicability of HMC to increase antioxidant response and reduce inflammation during acetic acid-induced colitis suggesting it as a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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