Salvianolic acid A (SAA) is an active phenolic acid derived from Salvia miltiorrhiza
Bunge (Danshen). To explore whether SAA has a therapeutic effect against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an acute colitis model was induced in rats by administering 3% dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) for one week. SAA in doses of 4 and 8 mg/kg/day was given by tail vein injection during DSS administration. Both dosages of SAA ameliorated the colitis symptoms, with decreases observed in the disease activity index. A high dosage of SAA (8 mg/kg/day) promoted a longer colon length and an improved colonic tissue structure, compared with the DSS-treated rats not receiving SAA. SAA dose-dependently decreased colonic gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β
). Moreover, a high dosage of SAA protected against DSS-induced damage to tight junctions (TJ) in the rats’ colons, by increasing TJ-related gene expression (ZO-1
). Finally, using 16S rRNA phylogenetic sequencing, we found that SAA modulated gut microbiota imbalance during colitis by increasing the gut microbial diversity as well as selectively promoting some probiotic populations, including Akkermansia
spp. Our study suggests that SAA is a promising candidate for the treatment of IBD.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited