Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic nonspecific inflammatory disease of colon and rectum with unknown etiology, and the lesions are mainly confined to the mucosa and submucosa of large intestine. The main clinical features of UC include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody purulent stool and tenesmus, which seriously affect patients’ quality of life. Most of UC patients would receive drug therapy with the exception of surgery for some severe cases. However, current drugs for the treatment of UC have certain limitations including difficulty of radical treatment, adverse reactions and drug resistance after long-term use and exorbitant price of some drugs. The research and development of new drugs for the treatment of UC is urgent, and natural alkaloids are an important source. This research paid close attention to the progress of natural alkaloids from diverse medicinal plants for treating UC in the last twenty years. The potential mechanisms for the natural alkaloids in the treatment of UC was closely related to its modulation of oxidative stress, immune response, intestinal flora and improvement of the gut barrier function. Remarkable effectiveness and safety of natural-derived alkaloids make them potential candidates of UC therapy.Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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