The use of an antibiotic with immunomodulatory properties could be fascinating in treating multifactorial inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis (UC). We report our investigations into the immunomodulatory properties of levornidazole, the S-enantiomer of ornidazole, which displayed a tremendous therapeutic potential in UC induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). Levornidazole administration to DSS-colitic mice attenuated the intestinal inflammatory process, with an efficacy better than that shown by 5-amino salicylic acid. This was evidenced by decreased disease activity index, ameliorated macroscopic and microscopic colon damages, and reduced expression of inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, levornidazole displayed anti-inflammatory activity through Caveolin-1-dependent reducing IL-1β and IL-18 secretion by macrophages contributing to its improvement of the intestinal inflammation, as confirmed in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, these results pointed out that the immunomodulatory effects of levornidazole played a vital role in ameliorating the intestinal inflammatory process, which would be crucial for the translation of its use into clinical settings.
© 2021. Huazhong University of Science and Technology.