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Eur J Clin Invest. 1998 Feb;28(2):145-50.

Antioxidants inhibit the in vitro production of inflammatory cytokines in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

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Centre de Recherches Pharmacologiques, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France.



Modulation of cytokine secretion may be of interest in the treatment of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.


The effect of three antioxidants - butylated hydroxyanisol, tetrahydropapaveroline and nordihydroguaiaretic acid - on the production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL) 1, IL-6 and IL-8 (measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) by peripheral mononuclear cells and biopsies of inflamed colonic mucosa from inflammatory bowel disease patients were studied.


We observed a decrease in IL-1 and IL-6 production by peripheral mononuclear cells from inflammatory bowel disease patients (approximately 50% of control). The three drugs did not decrease IL-6 and IL-8 secretion by colonic biopsies, whereas they did inhibit IL-1 and, to some degree, TNF production. The cytokine-inhibitory effect of antioxidants seems to be more pronounced in ulcerative colitis than in Crohn's disease.


Our results suggest that the studied antioxidants, or related compounds, may be of interest in inflammatory bowel disease treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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