BACKGROUND: Thymoquinone (TQ), an active ingredient of the seed oil extract of nigella sativa Linn, has previously been shown to possess antitumor, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory bioactivity. Whether TQ has any effect on colitis remains controversial. AIM: The aim of this study was to determine whether treatment with TQ prevents and ameliorates colonic inflammation in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: C57BL/6 murine colitis was induced by the administration of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) (3?% W/V) in the drinking water supplied to the mice for 7 consecutive days. The mice with colitis were treated with 5, 10, or 25?mg/kg TQ orally, and changes in body weight and macroscopic and microscopic colitis scores were examined. In addition, biochemical analyses were conducted. RESULTS: The treatment of mice with TQ prevented and significantly reduced the appearance of diarrhea and body weight loss. These results were associated with amelioration of colitis-related damage, as measured by macroscopic and microscopic colitis scores. In addition, there was a significant reduction in colonic myeloperoxidase activity and malondialdehyde levels and an increase in glutathione levels. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that TQ administration can prevent and improve murine DSS-induced colitis. These findings suggest that TQ could serve as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
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