Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) reverses fibrosis caused by chronic colon inflammation in murine model of colitis.
Pathol Res Pract. 2018 Aug 24. Epub 2018 Aug 24. PMID: 30170869
Murtaza M Tambuwala
Fibrosis is known to be the hallmarks of chronic inflammation of the bowel. Epithelial damage due to inflammation compromises the barrier function of the gastrointestinal tract. This barrier dysfunction leads to further spread of inflammation resulting in a chronic state of inflammation. This chronic inflammation leads to development of fibrosis, which has very limited therapeutic options and usually requires surgical removal of the affected tissue. Our previous work has shown that Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, found in propolis, has been found to be protective in experimental colitis via enhancement of epithelial barrier function. However, the impact of CAPE on resolution of fibrosis in the long-term is unknown. The aim of this follow up study was to investigate the effect of CAPE on colon fibrosis in a chronic model of Dextran sulphate sodium induced colitis in mice. Dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) 2.5% w/v was administered in drinking water to induce colitis in C57/BL6 mice for 5 days on the 6th day DSS was stopped and test group mice were treated with intraperitoneal administration of CAPE (30 mg kgday) for a further 7 days. Disease activity index (DAI) score, colon length and tissue histology and level of tissue fibrosis was observed. CAPE-treated mice had significantly lower levels of DAI, tissue inflammation scores and fibrosis as compared with control group. Our results show that CAPE is effective in resolving colon fibrosis in chronic inflammation. Thus, we can conclude CAPE could be a potential therapeutic agent for further clinical investigations for treatment of fibrosis in inflammatory bowel diseases in humans.