In folk medicine Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae) has been reported to relieve gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers and inflammation. This study investigated the effects and the mechanisms of action of Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit (Lamiaceae) ethanol extract (Hs-EtOH) and hexane phase (Hs-HexF) against intestinal inflammation.
Acute and relapse TNBS-induced ulcerative colitis protocols were used to evaluate intestinal anti-inflammatory activity. Damage evaluations, biochemical, histological and immunostaining parameters were determined.
Both extracts decreased macroscopic colonic inflammation and the area of lesion induced by TNBS. Nevertheless, only Hs-HexF was able to reduce colonic wall thickness, edema and diffuse inflammatory cell infiltration and to prevent GSH depletion in the acute model of ulcerative colitis. In the chronic phase with relapse of colonic ulceration, yet again only Hs-HexF significantly attenuated inflammatory parameters and presented a decrease in nitrite/nitrate, MDA, MPO, IL-1-β and TNF-α and increased levels of SOD, CAT, GSH and IL-10. Hs-HexF also significantly reduced positive cells immunostained for PCNA.
The data indicate intestinal anti-inflammatory activity for H. suaveolens, due to the participation of the antioxidant system, decreased neutrophil infiltration and cytokine modulation, as well as, owing to regulation of cell proliferation.

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