, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1275–1283 | Cite as

Thymol reduces acetic acid-induced inflammatory response through inhibition of NF-kB signaling pathway in rat colon tissue

  • Mohsen Chamanara
  • Alireza Abdollahi
  • Seyed Mahdi Rezayat
  • Mamoud Ghazi-Khansari
  • Ahmadreza Dehpour
  • Ehsan Nassireslami
  • Amir RashidianEmail author
Original Article



The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of thymol in acetic acid-induced rat colitis through inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway.


Colitis was induced by intra-rectal administration of 2 mL of diluted acetic acid (4%) solution using a flexible plastic rubber catheter in Wistar rats. Colitis was induced on the first day and all treatments were applied 5 days after the induction of colitis. Thymol was dissolved in 0.2% tween 80 in saline and administered orally at doses of 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg per day. Macroscopic and histopathologic investigations were done. The expression of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay. The protein expression level of pNF-κB p65 was measured by the Western blot technique.


Treatment with thymol reduced mucosal and histological damages compared to the acetic acid group. Our results showed that thymol markedly inhibited the production of MPO and TNF-α in the colon tissue of the acetic acid-induced group. In addition, thymol decreased acetic acid-induced up-regulation of pNFκB p65 protein. Conclusions: The results of our study suggest that thymol exerts an anti-inflammatory effect in acetic acid-induced rat colitis by inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway and downregulating TNF-α and MPO expressions.


Thymol Ulcerative colitis Acetic acid NF κB signaling pathway 



Nuclear factor kappa light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells




Tumor necrosis factor α






Bovine serum albumin


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Inflammatory bowel disease









This study was financially supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (grant number 36139).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We wish to confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication and there has been no significant financial support for this work that could have influenced its outcome.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohsen Chamanara
    • 1
  • Alireza Abdollahi
    • 2
  • Seyed Mahdi Rezayat
    • 3
  • Mamoud Ghazi-Khansari
    • 3
  • Ahmadreza Dehpour
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ehsan Nassireslami
    • 1
  • Amir Rashidian
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineAJA University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Imam HospitalTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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