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Tanshinone IIA ameliorates dextran sulfate sodium-induced inflammatory bowel disease via the pregnane X receptor

Authors Zhang X, Wang Y, Ma Z, Liang Q, Tang X, Hu D, Tan H, Xiao C, Gao Y

Received 16 December 2014

Accepted for publication 5 March 2015

Published 7 December 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 6343—6362


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan

Xianxie Zhang,1 Yuguang Wang,2 Zengchun Ma,2 Qiande Liang,2 Xianglin Tang,2 Donghua Hu,2 Hongling Tan,2 Chengrong Xiao,2 Yue Gao2

1Air Force General Hospital of People’s Liberation Army, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA) (C19H18O3) is one of the major active lipophilic components in a conventional Chinese medicine called danshen, and it has long been used in the People’s Republic of China and other neighboring countries to treat patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Previous experiments by many teams determined which mechanism of Tan IIA is relevant to the treatment of IBD associated with inflammation and the pregnane X receptor (PXR). The current study demonstrated that Tan IIA is an efficacious PXR agonist and its ability to induce CYP3A4 mRNA and protein expression was mediated by the transactivation of PXR, a known target of abrogating inflammation in IBD. Clinical symptoms in mice and histological assessment data suggested that administration of Tan IIA in mice demonstrated significant protection and showed that in DSS-induced IBD it acts in a concentration-dependent manner. PXR-silenced mice treated with Tan IIA demonstrated low protection against DSS-induced mouse IBD and exacerbated the severity of IBD compared with wild-type mice; PXR-silenced mice demonstrated the necessity for PXR in Tan IIA-mediated upregulation of xenobiotic metabolism genes. The IBD treatment effects of Tan IIA are partially due to PXR-mediated upregulation of xenobiotic metabolism and downregulation of inflammatory mediators. The novel findings reported here may contribute to the effective utilization of Tan IIA and its derivatives as a PXR ligand in the treatment of human IBD. This suggests that Tan IIA may have considerable clinical utility.

Keywords: dashen, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, tanshinone IIA, pregnane X receptor, inflammatory bowel disease, dextran sodium sulfate

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