Preventive Therapy of Experimental Colitis with Selected iron Chelators and Anti-oxidants

Mohsen Minaiyan, Elahe Mostaghel, Parvin Mahzouni


Objectives: Iron chelators, such as maltol and kojic acid, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They may have beneficial effects on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because iron can develop and aggravate inflammation in IBD. In the present study, the effect of selected iron chelators and anti-oxidants were evaluated on a model of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis.

Methods: Colitis was induced with instillation of 75 mg/kg TNBS in 0.25 ml ethanol 50% via the anus in fasted male Wistar rats. The animals were assigned randomly to 12 groups (n = 6) and treated once daily, started 2 hours before colitis induction, with normal saline (5 ml/kg), maltol (70, 140, 280 mg/kg), kojic acid (75, 150, 300 mg/kg), vitamin E (400 mg/kg), deferiprone (L1) (150 mg/kg) and prednisolone (4 mg/kg) orally and deferoxamine (50 mg/kg) intraperitoneally for 5 days. In the sixth day, rats were scarified and colon tissues were assessed macroscopically and pathologically.

Results: Maltol (280 mg/kg) was able to reduce colon weight / length ratio, ulcer index and total colitis index similar to prednisolone, deferoxamine and deferiprone as positive controls. However, kojic acid and vitamin E could not significantly alleviate macroscopic and/or pathologic features of inflammation in comparison to normal saline.

Conclusions: Maltol with the highest test dose was capable to protect against experimentally induced colitis. Kojic acid and vitamin E were not effective in this animal model of colon inflammation. More detailed studies are warranted to explore the mechanisms involved in anti-colitic property of maltol and to explain ineffectiveness of kojic acid and vitamin E.

Keywords: Anti-oxidant, Inflammatory bowel disease, Iron chelator, Kojic acid, Maltol

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