Ursodeoxycholic acid attenuates 5-fluorouracil-induced mucositis in a rat model

Seung Han Kim, Hoon Jai Chun, Hyuk Soon Choi, Eun Sun Kim, Bora Keum, Yeon Seok Seo, Yoon Tae Jeen, Hong Sik Lee, Soon Ho Um, Chang Duck Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2585-2590
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy-induced mucositis
  • Protective effect
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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