The anti-inflammatory effect and potential mechanism of cardamonin in DSS-induced colitis

Gaiyan Ren, Aning Sun, Chao Deng, Jingjing Zhang, Xiaojun Wu, Xiaohui Wei, Sridhar Mani, Wei Dou, Zhengtao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Cardamonin is a naturally occurring chalcone with strong anti-inflammatory activity. However, the direct effect of cardamonin on intestinal inflammation remains elusive. In the present study, we found that cardamonin markedly ameliorated dextran sulfate sodium-induced mouse body weight loss, diarrhea, colon shortening, spleen swelling, and histological damage, which correlated with a decline in the activity of myeloperoxidase and the production of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 in the colon. The upregulation of toll-like receptor 4 after dextran sulfate sodium treatment was associated with an increase in the activation of myeloid differentiation factor 88, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-1, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65, inhibitor κBα, and inhibitor κB kinase-α/β, as well as the mitogen-activated protein kinase molecules of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, and this upregulation was reversed by cardamonin administration. Moreover, cardamonin blocked the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65, inhibited NF-κB-luciferase activity, and downregulated NF-κB target genes expression. The present study clearly demonstrates a beneficial effect of cardamonin on experimental inflammatory bowel disease via a mechanism associated with suppression of toll-like receptor 4 expression and inactivation of NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. This study may give insight into the further evaluation of the therapeutic potential of cardamonin or its derivatives for human inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G517-G527
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Cardamonin
  • Experimental colitis
  • MAPK
  • NF-κB
  • TLR4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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