Nerolidol mitigates colonic inflammation: An experimental study using both in vivo and in vitro models

Vishnu Raj, Balaji Venkataraman, Saeeda Almarzooqi, Sanjana Chandran, Shreesh K. Ojha, Samir Attoub, Thomas E. Adrian, Sandeep B. Subramanya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Nerolidol (NED) is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alcohol present in various plants with potent anti‐inflammatory effects. In the current study, we investigated NED as a putative anti-inflammatory compound in an experimental model of colonic inflammation. C57BL/6J male black mice (C57BL/6J) were administered 3% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in drinking water for 7 days to induce colitis. Six groups received either vehicle alone or DSS alone or DSS with oral NED (50, 100, and 150 mg/kg body weight/day by oral gavage) or DSS with sulfasalazine. Disease activity index (DAI), colonic histology, and biochemical parameters were measured. TNF‐α‐treated HT‐29 cells were used as in vitro model of colonic inflammation to study NED (25 μM and 50 μM). NED significantly decreased the DAI and reduced the inflammation‐associated changes in colon length as well as macroscopic and microscopic architecture of the colon. Changes in tissue Myeloperoxidase (MPO) concentrations, neutrophil and macrophage mRNA expression (CXCL2 and CCL2), and proinflammatory cytokine content (IL‐1β, IL‐6, and TNF‐α) both at the protein and mRNA level were significantly reduced by NED. The increase in content of the proinflammatory enzymes, COX‐2 and iNOS induced by DSS were also significantly inhibited by NED along with tissue nitrate levels. NED promoted Nrf2 nuclear translocation dose dependently. NED significantly increased antioxidant enzymes activity (Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Catalase (CAT)), Hemeoxygenase‐1 (HO‐1), and SOD3 mRNA levels. NED treatment in TNF‐α‐challenged HT‐29 cells significantly decreased proinflammatory chemokines (CXCL1, IL‐8, CCL2) and COX‐2 mRNA levels. NED supplementation attenuates colon inflammation through its potent antioxidant and anti‐inflammatory activity both in in vivo and in vitro models of colonic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2032
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Bioactive compounds
  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Inflammatory molecular mechanisms
  • Nerolidol
  • Phytochemical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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