Protective effects of M40403, a superoxide dismutase mimetic, in a rodent model of colitis

Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Emanuela Mazzon, Laura Dugo, Achille P. Caputi, Dennis P. Riley, Daniela Salvemini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammatory bowel disease is characterised by oxidative and nitrosative stress, leukocyte infiltration, and up-regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression in the colon. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of M40403, a superoxide dismutase mimetic, in rats subjected to experimental colitis. Colitis was induced in rats by intracolonic instillation of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Rats experienced bloody diarrhoea and significant loss of body weight. At 4 days after TNBS administration, the colon damage was characterised by areas of mucosal necrosis. Neutrophil infiltration (indicated by myeloperoxidase activity in the mucosa) was associated with up-regulation of ICAM-1 and expression of P-selectin and high levels of malondialdehyde. Immunohistochemistry for nitrotyrosine and poly (ADP-ribose) synthetase showed an intense staining in the inflamed colon. Treatment with M40403 (5 mg/kg daily i.p.) significantly reduced the appearance of diarrhoea and the loss of body weight. This was associated with a remarkable amelioration of the disruption of the colonic architecture as well as a significant reduction of colonic myeloperoxidase activity and malondialdehyde levels. M40403 also reduced the appearance of nitrotyrosine and poly (ADP-ribose) synthetase immunoreactivity in the colon as well as reduced the up-regulation of ICAM-1 and the expression of P-selectin. The results of this study suggested that administration of a superoxide dismutase mimetic may be beneficial for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 2001


  • Colon damage
  • Free radical
  • Nitric oxide (NO)
  • Peroxynitrite
  • Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase
  • Superoxide anion (O)
  • TNBS (Trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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