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Biofactors. 2013 Jul-Aug;39(4):430-40. doi: 10.1002/biof.1083. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Yerba mate tea and mate saponins prevented azoxymethane-induced inflammation of rat colon through suppression of NF-κB p65ser(311) signaling via IκB-α and GSK-3β reduced phosphorylation.

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Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University Payathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.


Yerba mate tea (YMT) has a chemopreventive role in a variety of inflammatory diseases. The objective was to determine the capability of YMT and mate saponins to prevent azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colonic inflammation in rats. YMT (2% dry leaves, w/v, as a source of drinking fluid) (n = 15) and mate saponins (0.01% in the diet, at a concentration present in one cup of YMT) (n = 15) were given ad libitum to rats 2 weeks prior to AOM-injection until the end of the study; while control rats (n = 15) received a basal diet and drinking water. After 8-weeks of study, total colonic mucosa was scraped (n = 3 rats/group) and the remaining colons (n =12 rats/group) were cut into three equal sections and aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were analyzed. YMT reduced ACF formation from 113 (control group) to 89 (P < 0.05). YMT and mate saponins reduced the expression of proinflammatory molecules COX-2 and iNOS with concomitant reduction in p-p65 (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis of the formalin-fixed middle colons showed that YMT and mate saponins reduced the expression of p-p65(ser311) by 45.7% and 43.1%, respectively, in comparison to the control (P < 0.05). In addition, the expression of molecules upstream of NF-κB such as p-IκB-α and p-GSK-3β(Y216) was downregulated by YMT 24.7% and 24.4%, respectively (P < 0.05). Results suggest the mechanism involved in the chemopreventive effect of YMT and mate saponin consumption in AOM induced-colonic inflammation in rats is through inhibition of NF-κB.


NF-κB signaling; Yerba mate; colon cancer; inflammation; mate saponins

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