Maggot protein ameliorates dextran sulphate sodium-induced ulcerative colitis in mice

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Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a common chronic remitting disease but without satisfactory treatment. Maggots are known as a traditional Chinese medicine named as ‘wu gu chong’. The aim of the present study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of the maggot protein on dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in C57BL/6 mice. In the present study, female C57BL/6 mice were given sterile water containing 3% DSS to establish the model of UC. Mice were randomly divided into five groups: control group (sterile water), model group (DSS), treatment group (DSS + maggot protein), mesalazine group (DSS + mesalazine), and maggot protein group (sterile water + maggot protein). The mental state, defecate traits, and changes in body weights were recorded daily. The disease activity index (DAI) as a disease severity criterion was calculated based on body weights and stool consistency and bleeding. All the mice were killed on the 12th day. Colon length, colon histological changes, and other inflammatory factors were analyzed and evaluated. The results showed that colitis models of mice were established successfully. Administration of maggot protein markedly suppressed the severity of UC compared with the DSS model group. Furthermore, maggot protein potently ameliorated DSS-induced weight loss, colon shortening, and colon histological injury. Moreover, the maggot protein exerted anti-inflammatory effects via inhibition of the activation of the nuclear factor κB (NFκB) signaling pathway. In summary, treatment by maggot protein was able to improve not only the symptoms of colitis, but also the microscopic inflammation in mice with DSS-induced colitis. The present study may have implications for developing an effective therapeutic strategy for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).




Wang, R., Wang, L., Luo, Y., Wang, D., Du, R., Du, J., & Wang, Y. (2018). Maggot protein ameliorates dextran sulphate sodium-induced ulcerative colitis in mice. Bioscience Reports, 38(6).

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