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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 789263, 12 pages
Research Article

Chimonanthus nitens var. salicifolius Aqueous Extract Protects against 5-Fluorouracil Induced Gastrointestinal Mucositis in a Mouse Model

1School of Life Science and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2The Sino-Australia Joint Laboratory, Lishui Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tongji University, Lishui 323000, China
3Shanghai Research Centre for Model Organisms, Shanghai 201203, China
4HanseMerkur Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Haus Ost 55, UKE Campus, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
5Shanghai Standard Biotech Co., Ltd., Shanghai 201203, China
6Discipline of Pathology, Bosch Institute and School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Received 19 June 2013; Revised 8 September 2013; Accepted 16 September 2013

Academic Editor: Lorenzo Cohen

Copyright © 2013 Zhenze Liu 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.


Gastrointestinal mucositis is a major side effect of chemotherapy, leading to life quality reduction in patients and interrupting the therapy of cancer. Chimonanthus nitens var. salicifolius (CS) is a traditional Chinese herb for enteral disease. Considering the protective effect of CS on intestine, we hypothesize that the aqueous extract of CS could be benefcial to gastrointestinal mucositis. To verify this, a mouse mucositis model was induced by 5-Fluorouracil (5-Fu). Male Balb/C mice were treated with CS aqueous extract (5, 10, and 20 g/kg) or loperamide (0.2 mg/kg) intragastrically for 11 days, and the severity of mucositis was evaluated. Furthermore, the chemical compounds of CS aqueous extract were also analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Our results demonstrated that CS aqueous extract improved mice body weight, diarrhoea, and faecal blood, maintained the liver function and intestinal length, alleviated villus shortening, and suppressed the apoptosis and inflammation in small intestine. We concluded that CS could protect mice against 5-Fu induced mucositis by inhibiting apoptosis and inflammation, and this protective effect might be associated with the 3 flavonoids (rutin, quercetin, and kaempferol) identified in CS aqueous extract.