Ulcerative colitis is a dynamic, chronic inflammatory condition of the colon associated with an increased colon cancer risk. Ginkgo biloba is a putative antioxidant and has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. The aim of this study was to test whether the standardized G.biloba extract, EGb 761, is an antioxidant that can be used to prevent and treat colitis in mice. Here, we show that EGb 761 suppresses the activation of macrophages and can be used to both prevent and treat mouse colitis. Markers of inflammation (iNOS, Cox-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α) and inflammatory stress (p53 and p53-phospho-serine 15) are also downregulated by EGb 761. Furthermore, we show that EGb 761 reduces the numbers of CD4+/CD25-/Foxp3- effector T cells in the colon. Interestingly, EGb 761 drives CD4+ effector T cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, providing a mechanistic explanation to the reduction in numbers of this cell type in the colon. This current study is in agreement with previous studies supporting a use of EGb 761 as a complementary and alternative strategy to abate colitis and associated colon cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research