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Br J Pharmacol. 2004 Mar;141(6):951-60. Epub 2004 Mar 1.

Anti-inflammatory effect of diosmectite in hapten-induced colitis in the rat.

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Departments of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Spain.


1. Diosmectite is a natural silicate effectively used in the treatment of infectious diarrhoea. Its antidiarrhoeal properties involve adsorption of toxins and bacteria and modifications of the rheological characteristics of gastrointestinal mucus. Hence, the aim of this study was to test the intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of diosmectite. 2. Diosmectite (500 mg x kg(-1) day(-1), p.o.) was administered as a post-treatment to rats with chronic trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid colitis. Colonic status was checked 1 and 2 weeks after colitis induction by macroscopic, histological and biochemical examination. 3. Diosmectite post-treatment resulted in amelioration of the morphological signs (intestinal weight, macroscopic damage, necrosed area, histology) and biochemical markers (myeloperoxidase activity, glutathione levels, MUC2 expression, inducible nitric oxide synthase and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and leukotriene B(4) synthesis), as well as in the reduction of the severity of diarrhoea. The effect of the clay was comparable to that of sulphasalazine (50 mg x kg(-1) day(-1)). 4. 5. Diosmectite exhibited a dose-dependent capacity to adsorb proteins in vitro as well as a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on the basolateral secretion of IL-8 by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated HT29 cells. Diosmectite had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on IL-1beta production by LPS-stimulated THP-1 cells. 6. The effect of diosmectite on MUC2 was post-transcriptional, since mRNA levels were unaffected. However, diosmectite is able to upregulate MUC2 mRNA levels in HT29-MTX cells. 7. Diosmectite has anti-inflammatory activity administered as a post-treatment. Possible mechanisms include adsorption of luminal antigens, increase of colonic mucin levels and possibly a direct modulatory action of cytokine production by mucosal cells.

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