Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 3534–3545 | Cite as

Lemon Verbena Infusion Consumption Attenuates Oxidative Stress in Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis in the Rat

  • Loïc Lenoir
  • Adrien Rossary
  • Juliette Joubert-Zakeyh
  • Juliette Vergnaud-Gauduchon
  • Marie-Chantal Farges
  • Didier Fraisse
  • Odile Texier
  • Jean-Louis Lamaison
  • Marie-Paule Vasson
  • Catherine FelginesEmail author
Original Article



Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) consist of an uncontrolled intestinal inflammation leading to mucosal disruption. This inflammation is accompanied by an excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Polyphenols are micronutrients with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, and may play an interesting role in the prevention of intestinal inflammation. Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) infusion is a popular herbal infusion rich in polyphenols (flavones and verbascoside).


This study evaluated the preventive effects of lemon verbena infusion consumption against mild-to-moderate dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats.


Wistar rats drank water or lemon verbena infusion for 14 days. On day 15, half of the rats received DSS (4%) in their drink for 7 days. At the end of the experimental period, the colon was taken for histopathological examination and determination of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase [SOD], glutathione peroxidase [GPx], glutathione reductase [GR], catalase [CAT]), glutathione and lipid peroxidation. Lymphocyte populations were determined in blood, mesenteric nodes and Peyer’s patches.


Rats ingested daily 5.6 μmol of polyphenols. DSS reduced food intake and induced colitis, as reflected by histological lesions and increased MPO activity. Although these alterations were not significantly counteracted by lemon verbena consumption, the herbal infusion increased colonic SOD activity and decreased lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde). Other oxidative stress markers (GPx, GR, CAT, glutathione) were not significantly modified.


Our study shows that the preventive consumption of lemon verbena infusion offered some antioxidative protection during experimental colitis by stimulating SOD activity and decreasing lipid peroxidation.


Lemon verbena Polyphenols Dextran sodium sulfate Colitis Oxidative stress Rat 



This work was funded by 3inature BIOSPHERE.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loïc Lenoir
    • 1
    • 4
  • Adrien Rossary
    • 2
  • Juliette Joubert-Zakeyh
    • 3
  • Juliette Vergnaud-Gauduchon
    • 2
  • Marie-Chantal Farges
    • 2
  • Didier Fraisse
    • 1
  • Odile Texier
    • 1
  • Jean-Louis Lamaison
    • 1
  • Marie-Paule Vasson
    • 2
  • Catherine Felgines
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie et Phytothérapie, Faculté de PharmacieClermont Université, Université d’Auvergne, EA 4233Clermont-FerrandFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biochimie, Biologie Moléculaire et NutritionClermont Université, Université d’Auvergne Clermont-FerrandFrance
  3. 3.Service d’Anatomie et de Cytologie PathologiquesCHU Clermont-FerrandClermont-FerrandFrance
  4. 4.3inature BIOSPHERE (M. Dubourdeaux), Le NaturopôleSaint-Bonnet-de-RochefortFrance

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