Pomegranate Mesocarp against Colitis-Induced Visceral Pain in Rats: Effects of a Decoction and Its Fractions.
Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 17 ;21(12). Epub 2020 Jun 17. PMID: 32560291
The management of chronic visceral pain related to Inflammatory Bowel Diseases or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is still a clinical problem and new therapeutic strategies continue to be investigated. In the present study, the efficacy of a pomegranate decoction and of its polysaccharide and ellagitannin components in preventing the development of colitis-induced abdominal pain in rats was evaluated. After colitis induction by 2,4-dinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (DNBS), the pomegranate decoction (300 mg kg), polysaccharides (300 mg kg), and ellagitannins (45 mg kg) were orally administered for 14 days. Repeated treatment with decoction reduced visceral hypersensitivity in the colitic animals both at 7 and 14 days. Similar efficacy was shown by polysaccharides, but with lower potency. Ellagitannins administered at dose equivalent to decoction content showed higher efficacy in reducing the development of visceral pain. Macroscopic and microscopic evaluations performed on the colon 14 days after the damage showed that all three preparations reduced the overall amount of mast cells, the number of degranulated mast cells, and the density of collagen fibers in the mucosal stroma. Although ellagitannins seem to be responsible for most of the beneficial effects of pomegranate on DNBS-induced colitis, the polysaccharides support and enhance its effect. Therefore, pomegranate mesocarp preparations could represent a complementary approach to conventional therapies for promoting abdominal pain relief.