Ulcerative colitis (UC) primarily affects the mucosa of the distal colon. Dysregulated immune response in genetically-prone persons is claimed to be responsible for chronic intestinal inflammation. This study aimed to explore the efficacy and the hematological effects of pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS) in a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model. Forty C57BL/6 female mice were equally divided into five groups: control group, DSS-colitis group, DSS-colitis treated with 5-aminosalicylic acid, DSS-colitis treated with PPS, and DSS-colitis treated with both drugs. Disease activity index (DAI) and colon length were calculated. Colonic IL-6 and IL-35 levels were assayed by ELISA. IL-35 gene expression was evaluated by qRT-PCR. Colon tissue samples were examined by H&E stain and immunohistochemistry (IHC) of Ki67. The colitis group subjected to combined treatment showed the best outcome with significant improvement of DAI and increased colon length. Colonic IL-6 was significantly lower in both PPS- and combination-treated groups accompanied by a significantly higher IL-35 level and its EBI3 subunit mRNA expression. However, the PPS-treated colitis group showed higher gene expression of IL-35 EBI3 subunit by 1.5-fold compared with the combined group. The colon mucosa and crypts were significantly preserved in mice treated with both drugs with the best Ki67 positive cell density. PPS is a safe and promising drug in the treatment of UC as it exerted the best positive effect on the anti-inflammatory IL-35 level and gene expression. However, superior improvement of DAI was seen when PPS was added to ASA with a greater mucosal proliferation and repair.
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