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Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Dec;96:313-319. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.10.017. Epub 2017 Oct 7.

Protective effect of carvacrol on acetic acid-induced colitis.

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Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil.
Department of Morphology, Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil.
Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil. Electronic address:


The pharmacological therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases continues to be problematic, and requires new alternative options. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that carvacrol (CAR), a phenolic monoterpene with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, can treat experimental colitis in mice. C57BL/6 mice (n=8/group) were subjected to intrarectal administration of acetic acid (5%) to induce colitis. Mice were pretreated with CAR (25, 50 or 100mg/kg, p.o.) every 12h for three days prior to the induction. Abdominal hyperalgesia, macroscopic and microscopic colon damage, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β levels, oxidative stress markers, and antioxidant enzyme activities were evaluated. Pretreatment with all doses of CAR significantly decreased abdominal hyperalgesia and colon MPO activity and TNF-α and IL-1β levels. A reduction in macroscopic and microscopic damage (p<0.05) was observed at doses of 50 and 100mg/kg CAR. Pretreatment with CAR significantly reduced lipid peroxidation (for all doses) and increased sulfhydryl groups (at 100mg/kg). This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase activities. These findings indicate that CAR protected mice from acetic acid-induced colitis by reducing inflammatory, nociceptive, and oxidative damages.


Carvacrol; Colitis; Inflammation; Nociception; Oxidative stress; Terpenes

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