Hydro-alcoholic extract of Dracocephalum moldavica for treatment of ulcerative colitis in Wistar rats

Document Type : Original


Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Division of Immunology, Urmia university, Iran.


Background and objective: The prevalence of ulcerative colitis, a condition characterized by inflammation in the intestinal wall, has been increasing. Dracocephalum moldavica has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties. The current study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of Dracocephalum moldavica on ulcerative colitis in Wistar rats.
Materials and methods: Thirty-two male Wistar rats were divided into four groups for this study. Group 1(control) received only phosphate buffer saline, group 2 was exposed to acetic acid to develop ulcerative colitis, group 3 was the rats with ulcerative colitis treated with Dracocephalum moldavica extract at concentration of 30 mg/kg/day, and group 4 was the rats with ulcerative colitis treated by prednisolone at concentration of 4 mg/kg/day. After ten consecutive days, the rats were euthanized humanely, and their intestinal tissue was thoroughly examined to measure the levels of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress indices.
Results and conclusion: Treatment with Dracocephalum moldavica showed more advantage than treatment with prednisolone in restoring the overall antioxidant capacity of the colonic specimens in rats with induced colitis. Although malondialdehyde levels decreased, the total protein content of colonic homogenates increased in both treatment groups, albeit not significantly. Moreover, Dracocephalum moldavica extract showed a significant reduction in TNF-α, IL-6, and IFNɣ cytokines compared to prednisolone. The stories of myeloperoxidase and nitric oxide were significantly decreased in the colons of rats treated with Dracocephalum Moldavia, surpassing the effects observed in the prednisolone group. The findings of this study suggest that the use of Dracocephalum moldavica extract as an herbal remedy has excellent potential in alleviating inflammation in rat models of ulcerative colitis. The positive roles of Dracocephalum moldavica extract are attributed to its direct antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects.


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