Momordica charantia polysaccharides alleviate diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome by regulating intestinal inflammation and barrier via NF-κB pathway

Main Article Content

Shanyun Ji
Qing Zhang


momordica charantia polysaccharides, diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal permeability, intestinal inflammation, NF-κB


Background: Momordica charantia exerts anti-inflammatory effect against ulcerative colitis. Momordica charantia polysaccharides (MCPs) attenuate gastritis through inhibition of ethanol-induced inflammatory response.

Objective: The role of MCPs in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) is investigated.

Materials and Methods: Chemical stimulation followed by acute and chronic pressure stimulation was used to establish rats model with IBS-D. The model rats were then administrated with MCPs. Defecation frequency, fecal water content and abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) score were then recorded. Pathologic changes in the colonic tissues were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Inflammation was detected by ELISA and qRT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry was used to assess intestinal mucosal permeability.

Results: First, IBS-D of mice wasIBS-D ratsmice exhibited many abnormal clinical manifestations, including increased frequency of defecation, fecal water content, and abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) score. Second, the mice were administrated with MCPs, which reduced frequency of defecation, fecal water content, and AWR score, and 100-mg/kg MCPs indicated therapeutic effect on IBS-D mice equivalent to rifaximin. Moreover, MCPs also ameliorated pathologic changes in the colonic tissues of IBS-D mice. Third, inflammatory response in IBS-D mice was also suppressed by MCPs through up-regulation of Interleukin (IL)-10, and down-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), Interleukin(IL)-1β, and IL-6. MCPs enhanced levels of occludin (OCLN) and zona occludens protein-1 (ZO-1) in IBS-D mice to improve intestinal mucosal permeability. Finally, phosphorylation of p65 in IBS-D mice was reduced by MCP treatment.

Conclusion: MCPs ameliorated intestinal permeability and repressed intestinal inflammation to attenuate IBS-D by inactivating nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling.

Abstract 82 | PDF Downloads 69 HTML Downloads 66 XML Downloads 1


1. Weaver KR, Melkus GD, Henderson WA. Irritable Bowel syndrome. Am J Nurs. 2017;117(6):48–55. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000520253.57459.01

2. Greenwood-Van Meerveld B, Johnson AC. Stress-induced chronic visceral pain of gastrointestinal origin. Front Syst Neurosci. 2017;11:86. 10.3389/fnsys.2017.00086

3. Chen YJ, Wu H, Wu SD, Lu N, Wang YT, Liu HN, et al. Parasutterella, in association with irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal chronic inflammation. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018;33(11):1844–52. 10.1111/jgh.14281

4. Canavan C, West J, Card T. The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Clin Epidemiol. 2014;6:71–80. 10.2147/CLEP.S40245.

5. Altomare A, Di Rosa C, Imperia E, Emerenziani S, Cicala M, Guarino MPL. Diarrhea predominant-irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D): Effects of different nutritional patterns on intestinal dysbiosis and symptoms. Nutrients. 2021;13(5):1506. 10.3390/nu13051506.

6. Weber HC. New treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome with predominant diarrhea. Curr Opinion Endocrinol Diabetes Obesity. 2017;24(1):25-30. 10.1097/MED.0000000000000302

7. Farrell DJ. Rifaximin in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: Is there a high risk for development of antimicrobial resistance? J Clin Gastroenterol. 2013;47(3):205-211. 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31827559a3

8. Mei L, Zhou J, Su Y, Mao K, Wu J, Zhu C, et al. Gut microbiota composition and functional prediction in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. BMC Gastroenterol. 2021;21(1):105–. 10.1186/s12876-021-01693-w

9. Bortolotti M, Mercatelli D, Polito L. Momordica charantia, a nutraceutical approach for inflammatory related diseases. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:486. 10.3389/fphar.2019.00486

10. Li Z, Xia A, Li S, Yang G, Jin W, Zhang M, et al. The pharmacological properties and therapeutic use of bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.). Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2020;6(3): 103–9. 10.1007/s40495-020-00219-4

11. Deng Z, Yuan C, Yang J, Peng Y, Wang W, Wang Y, et al. Behavioral defects induced by chronic social defeat stress are protected by Momordica charantia polysaccharides via attenuation of JNK3/PI3K/AKT neuroinflammatory pathway. Ann Transl Med. 2019;7(1):6–. 10.21037/atm.2018.12.08

12. Wen J-J, Li M-Z, Gao H, Hu J-L, Nie Q-X, Chen H-H, et al. Polysaccharides from fermented Momordica charantia L. with Lactobacillus plantarum NCU116 ameliorate metabolic disorders and gut microbiota change in obese rats. Food Funct. 2021;12(6):2617–30. 10.1039/D0FO02600J

13. Semiz A, Ozgun Acar O, Cetin H, Semiz G, Sen A. Suppression of inflammatory cytokines expression with bitter melon (Momordica Charantia) in TNBS-instigated ulcerative colitis. J Transl Inter Med. 2020;8(3):177–87. 10.2478/jtim-2020-0027

14. Zhang C, Huang Y, Li P, Chen X, Liu F, Hou Q. Ginger relieves intestinal hypersensitivity of diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome by inhibiting proinflammatory reaction. BMC Compl Med Ther. 2020;20(1):279. 10.1186/s12906-020-03059-3

15. Hou Q, Huang Y, Zhu Z, Liao L, Chen X, Han Q, et al. Tong-Xie-Yao-Fang improves intestinal permeability in diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome rats by inhibiting the NF-κB and notch signalling pathways. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019;19(1):337. 10.1186/s12906-019-2749-4

16. Ng QX, Soh AYS, Loke W, Lim DY, Yeo W-S. The role of inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). J Inflamm Res. 2018;11:345–9. 10.2147/JIR.S174982

17. Choghakhori R, Abbasnezhad A, Hasanvand A, Amani R. Inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress biomarkers in irritable bowel syndrome: Association with digestive symptoms and quality of life. Cytokine. 2017;93:34–43. 10.1016/j.cyto.2017.05.005

18. Kumar S, Singh P, Kumar A. Targeted therapy of irritable bowel syndrome with anti-inflammatory cytokines. Clin J Gastroenterol. 2022; 15(1):1-10. 10.1007/s12328-021-01555-8

19. Guo D, Zhou J, Zhang M, Taximaimaiti R, Wang X, Wang H. Momordica Charantia polysaccharides attenuates MPP+-induced injury in Parkinson’s disease mice and cell models by regulating TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB patway. Int J Polym Sci. 2021;2021:5575636. 10.1155/2021/5575636

20. Cojocariu RO, Balmus IM, Lefter R, Ababei DC, Ciobica A, Hritcu L, et al. Behavioral and oxidative stress changes in mice subjected to combinations of multiple stressors relevant to irritable bowel syndrome. Brain Sci. 2020;10(11):865. 10.3390/brainsci10110865

21. Raish M. Momordica charantia polysaccharides ameliorate oxidative stress, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, and apoptosis during myocardial infarction by inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway. Int J Biol Macromol. 2017;97:544–51. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.01.074

22. He X, Cui L-H, Wang X-H, Yan Z-H, Li C, Gong S-D, et al. Modulation of inflammation by toll-like receptor 4/nuclear factor-kappa B in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Oncotarget. 2017;8(69):113957–65. 10.18632/oncotarget.23045

23. Coëffier M, Déchelotte P, Ducrotté P. Intestinal permeability in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: Is there a place for glutamine supplementation? Gastroenterology. 2015;148(5):1079–80. 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.02.057

24. Raish M, Ahmad A, Ansari MA, Alkharfy KM, Aljenoobi FI, Jan BL, et al. Momordica charantia polysaccharides ameliorate oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in ethanol-induced gastritis in mucosa through NF-kB signaling pathway inhibition. Int J Biol Macromol. 2018;111:193–9. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.01.008

25. Scalera A, Di Minno MN, Tarantino G. What does irritable bowel syndrome share with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? World J Gastroenterol. 2013;19(33):5402–20. 10.3748/wjg.v19.i33.5402

26. Fan M, Lee JI, Ryu YB, Choi YJ, Tang Y, Oh M, et al. Comparative analysis of metabolite profiling of momordica charantia leaf and the anti-obesity effect through regulating lipid metabolism. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(11):5584. 10.3390/ijerph18115584