© 2019 Hwang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background and aim Various drugs have been developed for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but still there are limitations in the treatment due to the insufficient responses and significant adverse effects of immunosuppressant. Apocynin is an NADPH-oxidase inhibitor with established safety profiles. We aimed to investigate the protective efficacy of apocynin in IBD using chemicalinduced mouse colitis model. Method We induced experimental colitis by administrating 5% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to 8- week old BALB/c mouse for 11 days. Apocynin (400 mg/kg) or sulfasalazine (150 mg/kg) were administeredduring7 days. We monitored bodyweight daily and harvested colon and spleen at day 11 to check weight and length. We also examined histopathologic change and pro-, anti-inflammatory cytokines and enzymes from harvested colons (iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, MCP-1, p-NrF2, and HO-1). Result Apocynin significantly alleviated weight reduction induced by DSS treatment (21.64 ± 0.55 for Apocynin group vs. 20.33 ± 0.90 for DSS group, p = 0.005). Anti-inflammatory efficacy of apocynin was also shown by the recovery of colon weight and length. Histopathologic examination revealed significantly reduced inflammatory foci and erosions by apocynin treatment. Colonic expression of iNOS, COX-2, TNF-α, and MCP-1 was decreased significantly in the apocynin treated group. Anti-inflammatory mediators Nrf2 and HO-1 were activated significantly in apocynin treated mouse. Conclusion Apocynin showed significant anti-inflammatory efficacy against chemically induced colonic inflammation. This study also revealed the unique action of apocynin compared to the currently prescribed drug, sulfasalazine. Given its excellent safety profile and potent efficacy with novel action mechanism, apocynin can be a new therapeutic molecule for the IBD treatment, which can be added to the currently available drugs.
School of Medicine