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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 161278, 13 pages
Research Article

Intestinal Protective Effects of Herbal-Based Formulations in Rats against Neomycin Insult

1Institute of Medical Research, College of Medicine, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyang 410-773, Republic of Korea
2College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyang 410-820, Republic of Korea
3Department of Oriental Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, 814 Siksa-dong, Gyeonggi-do, Goyang 410-773, Republic of Korea

Received 23 October 2012; Accepted 19 March 2013

Academic Editor: Xiu-Min Li

Copyright © 2013 Shambhunath Bose et al. 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.


Disturbance in the gut microbial niche by antibiotics like neomycin produces gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Here, we evaluated the impact of a mixture of extracts of three herbs (Atractylodis Rhizoma Macrocephalae, Massa Medicata Fermentata, and Dolichoris Semen) with known GI protective activities, either laboratory unfermented (herbal formulation-1 (HF-1)) or fermented/re-fermented (herbal formulation-2 (HF-2)) on neomycin-treated rats using a commercial Lactobacillus probiotic as a reference. Treatment with neomycin augmented stool water content, decreased fecal population of Lactobacillus spp., changed the histology of intestine without inducing inflammation, reduced the colonic expression of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and claudin-1, and elevated the serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels. Coadministration of either HF-2 or probiotic, but not HF-1, restored the fecal content of Lactobacillus spp., normalized the serum CRP level, and significantly increased the colonic expression of ZO-1 and claudin-1 in neomycin-treated rats. The combined treatment with any of the above agents ameliorated the histological changes of cecum and colon in neomycin-treated rats, and the magnitude of this effect was probiotic > HF-2 > HF-1. Our study revealed the intestinal protective effect of a mixture of three herbs against neomycin insult, which is mediated through multiple mechanisms and is potentiated upon prior fermentation/refermentation of the herbs.