Walnuts (Juglans regia) are known to have anti-cancer and immunomodulatory effects. However, little information is available on the effects of walnut phenolic extract (WPE) on intestinal inflammation and colitis-associated colon cancer.


COLO205 cells were pretreated with WPE and then stimulated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. In the acute colitis model, wild type mice (C57BL/6) were administered 4% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) for 5 days. In the chronic colitis model, interleukin (IL)-10−/− mice were administered with either the vehicle or WPE (20 mg/kg) by oral gavage daily for 2 weeks. In an inflammation-associated tumor model, wild type mice were administered a single intraperitoneal injection of azoxymethane followed by three cycles of 2% DSS for 5 days and 2 weeks of free water consumption.


WPE significantly inhibited IL-8 and IL-1α expression in COLO205 cells. WPE attenuated both the TNF-α-induced IκB phosphorylation/degradation and NF-κB DNA binding activity. The administration of oral WPE significantly reduced the severity of colitis in both acute and chronic colitis models, including the IL-10−/− mice. In immunohistochemical staining, WPE attenuated NF-κB signaling in the colons of both colitis models. Finally, WPE also significantly reduced tumor development in a murine model of colitis-associated colon cancer (CAC).


WPE ameliorates acute and chronic colitis and CAC in mice, suggesting that WPE may have potentials for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

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