Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory disease with chronic relapsing symptoms. This study investigated the effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) and capsaicin (CAP) in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced UC rats. Rats were divided into normal, DSS-induced UC, and UC treated with 100 mg LBP/kg bw, 12 mg CAP/kg bw, or 50 mg LBP/kg bw and 6 mg CAP/kg bw. Rats were fed LBP or CAP orally by gavage for 4 weeks, and UC model was established by feeding 5% DSS in drinking water for 6 days during week 3. Oral CAP and mixture significantly reduced disease activity index. Oral LBP significantly decreased serum malondialdehyde, interleukin (IL)-6, colonic tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels, and protein expression of transient receptor potential cation channel V1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), but increased serum catalase activity. Oral CAP significantly suppressed serum IL-6, colonic TRPV1 and TRPA1 protein expression, but elevated IL-10 levels, serum superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. The mixture of LBP and CAP significantly reduced serum IL-6, colonic TNF-α and TRPA1 protein. In conclusion, administration of LBP and/or CAP attenuate DSS-induced UC symptoms through inhibiting oxidative stress, proinflammatory cytokines, and protein expression of TRPV1 and TRPA1.
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