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Int Immunopharmacol. 2008 Dec 20;8(13-14):1808-12. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2008.08.019. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Therapeutic effects of triptolide on interleukin-10 gene-deficient mice with colitis.

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Department of General Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China.



Triptolide, the principal active ingredient in the extract of Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook , has both anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. However, the potential therapeutic role of triptolide in IBD was still unknown. Interleukin-10 deficient mice, a well characterized experimental model of inflammatory bowel disease, spontaneously developed a Th1 T cell-mediated colitis with many similarities to Crohn's disease. This study was designed to investigate the therapeutic effect of triptolide on the chronic colitis in IL-10-/- mice.


Triptolide was intraperitoneally administrated every another day for 8 weeks to IL-10-/- mice. The gross and histological appearances of the colon, the level of inflammatory mediators and transcription factor activation in the colon were evaluated and compared with the control group.


The 8-week administration of triptolide resulted in a significant decrease in the severity of colitis, together with lower production of TNF-alpha ,IFN-gamma and IL-4 in colon. The level of serum amyloid A was decreased in triptolide-treated mice. Gene expressions of IL-12 and IL-23 in colon were also downregulated after treatment. Furthermore, administration of triptolide markedly reduced NF-small ka, CyrillicB activation in colon mucosa of IL-10-/- mice.


The efficacy of tritpolide treatment for the reduction of intestinal inflammation in IL-10-/- mice is a result of both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity. Triptolide holds significant potential for clinical applications for CD treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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