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Food Funct. 2015 Jul;6(7):2357-64. doi: 10.1039/c5fo00053j.

The anti-infective activity of punicalagin against Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar typhimurium in mice.

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College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China.


Punicalagin, a major bioactive component of pomegranate peel, has been proven to have antioxidant, antiviral, anti-apoptosis, and hepatoprotective properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-infective activity of punicalagin in a mouse model. C57BL/6 mice were initially challenged with Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar typhimurium (S. typhimurium) and then treated with punicalagin. Food and water consumption and body weight were recorded daily. On day 8 post infection, the mice were sacrificed to examine pathogen counts in tissues, hematological parameters, cytokine levels, and histological changes. Compared to mice only infected with S. typhimurium, punicalagin-treated mice had more food consumption and less weight loss. A higher survival rate and lower counts of viable S. typhimurium in feces, liver, spleen, and kidney were found in the punicalagin-treated mice. The enzyme linked immunosorbent assay showed that the levels of IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-γ in serum and the spleen and TNF-α in serum, the spleen and the liver were reduced by punicalagin. Moreover, more neutrophils and higher neutrophil-to-mononuclear cell ratios in the punicalagin-treated mice were observed. Histological examination showed that punicalagin protected cells in the liver and spleen from hemorrhagic necrosis. It is concluded that punicalagin has a beneficial effect against S. typhimurium infection in mice. The anti-infective properties, together with other nutritionally beneficial effects, make punicalagin a promising supplement in human food or animal feeds to prevent disease associated with S. typhimurium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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