Article Type

Original Study


Objective The present study was designed to investigate the therapeutic effect of royal jelly (RJ) as a new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), compared with sulfasalazine, in experimental colitis induced with acetic acid. Background Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease in which patients experience cyclic bouts of symptoms including diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Sulfasalazine is mainly used for the treatment of IBD. RJ is a natural product commonly used to supplement the treatment of various diseases. Materials and methods Sixty adult male albino rats were used in the present work and were divided into two groups: group I (the control group) and group II. In group II experimental colitis was induced with 4% acetic acid enema and the rats were divided into four subgroups: subgroups IIa, IIb, IIc, and IId. The rats in subgroup IIa were killed after 24 h; those in subgroup IIb did not receive treatment; subgroup IIc received sulfasalazine orally at 100 mg/kg daily; and subgroup IId received RJ orally at 150 mg/kg daily. After 1 month the animals were killed and the distal colon was excised and stained with hematoxylin and eosin, alcian blue, and periodic acid-Schiff; immunohistochemical analysis was carried out for inducible nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kB. Total Colitis Index score was calculated, and morphometric and statistical studies were carried out. Results Rectal instillation of acetic acid resulted in marked disturbed histological structure of the mucosa and submucosa of the colon. The mucosal crypts showed wide separation and sloughing of the surface epithelium, as well as cellular infiltration. Significant decrease in alcian blue and increase in inducible nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kB were observed in the colitis and recovery subgroups. Treatment with RJ or sulfasalazine caused restoration of the mucosal architecture with histological variations more superior in the RJ subgroup than in the sulfasalazine subgroup as proved by histochemical analysis and Total Colitis Index score. Conclusion RJ had greater therapeutic effect against experimental colitis compared with sulfasalazine.