Objective: To investigate the protective effect of wolfberry (WB) against acetic acid-induced colitis in rats.
Methods: The rats were divided into four groups with eight rats in each group: the control group, WB group, colitis group and WB + colitis group. Distal colitis was induced in rats by intracolonic instillation of 4% acetic acid. Wolfberry + colitis group received 100 mg/kg of WB extract dissolved in saline through the intraperitoneal route for 7 days. Acute colitis was created on the 8th day, and the rats were sacrificed 48 hours later. Colonic damage was assessed by macroscopic and histological criteria as well as biochemical markers.
Results: Mean total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total oxidant status (TOS), tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 levels were significantly higher in the colitis group compared with the control and WB groups (p < 0.05). The WB + colitis group had significantly lower TAC, TOS, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 levels compared with the colitis group (p < 0.05). The analyses of the histopathological findings indicated that the colitis group had a significantly higher histopathological damage score than the control group (3.12 ± 0.45, 0 ± 0.00, respectively; p < 0.05). Histopathological damage score was significantly higher in the WB + colitis group than in the control group and statistically significantly lower than the colitis group (1.62 ± 0.44, 0 ± 0.00, respectively; 3.12 ± 0.45, respectively; p < 0.05 for both comparisons).
Conclusion: Wolfberry extract is an agent that is effective for preventing acetic acid-induced colitis in rats.