Intestinal mucositis is a commonly encountered complication of chemotherapy. However, there are few effective treatments or preventive methods. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) stabilizes cell membranes, acts as an antioxidant and inhibits apoptosis, thereby exerting cytoprotective effects. The aim of the present study was to examine the ability of UDCA to protecting against chemotherapy-associated mucositis. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to five groups: Control, vehicle + 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), 5-FU + UDCA (10 mg/kg/day), 5-FU + UDCA (100 mg/kg/day) and 5-FU + UDCA (500 mg/kg/day). Following randomization, a single dose of 5-FU was injected and varying amounts of UDCA was administered to each group. UDCA was administered orally to rats for 6 days, beginning 1 day prior to 5-FU administration. The rats were sacrificed 1 day following the last UDCA administration and intestinal tissue specimens were prepared for analysis. UDCA administration attenuated body weight loss, decreased inflammatory cytokine levels and curbed intestinal villus damage in the 10 and 100 mg/kg/day groups. When compared with the jejunal villi lengths in the vehicle+5-FU group (212.8±58.0 µm), those in the 5-FU + UDCA (10 mg/kg/day) and 5-FU + UDCA (100 mg/kg/day) groups were significantly greater [331.3±18.0 µm (P=0.001) and 310.0±112.6 µm (P=0.046), respectively]. Tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 levels were reduced in the 10 and 100 mg/kg/day UDCA groups (P<0.05). UDCA considerably attenuated the elevation in inflammatory cytokines and intestinal villus damage. The results of the study suggest that UDCA may be used as a protective agent against chemotherapy-associated intestinal mucositis.
- Chemotherapy-induced mucositis
- Protective effect
- Ursodeoxycholic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research