The Healing Effect of Aloe Vera gel on Acetic Acid-Induced Ulcerative Colitis in Rat

Seyed Jalil Masoumi, Davood Mehrabani, Negar Hassanshahi, Seyedeh Sara Hashemi, Morteza Zare



The use of herbal and synthetic compounds can be effective in improving the areas and repair of tissues that have been affected during the processes like what happens in ulcerative colitis (UC) as a common inflammatory disorder. According to the beneficial effects of aloe vera, in this study, we aimed to assess the therapeutic effects of oral aloe vera gel on acetic acid-induced colitis in rats by histopathological and molecular analysis of Bax, and BCL-2 genes expression (using RT-PCR technique) in colon tissue samples.


This experimental study comprised 32 adult male Sprague Dawley rats weighting  220±20 g that were randomly divided into four groups as follows. The control group (healthy rats), colitis group in which UC was induced by transrectal administration of 3% acetic acid with no treatment, oral form of sulfasalazine group in which UC was induced by transrectal administration of 3% acetic acid, then was treated by oral administration of sulfasalazine 500 mg/kg body weight, and the fourth group which received oral form of aloe vera gel (200 mg/kg) for 21 days, respectively after induction of UC. Then, the therapeutic effects of treatment groups were compared with the control group and the colitis group with no treatment, by the assessment of histopathological and molecular changes in the colon tissues of rats on the 7th, 14th, and 21st days. Finally, the collected data were analyzed using statistical tests.


Histologically, aloe vera gel treatment could reduce and heal colon tissue damages in induced colitis. Also, this gel reduced apoptosis in rat’s colon with acetic acid-induced colitis, which showed in significantly decreased in Bax mRNA expression and significantly increased BCL-2 mRNA expression compared with the colitis group with no treatment.


 Aloe vera gel has a significant effect on the treatment of UC in rat because of the beneficial effect that was found from aloe vera such as decreasing the severity of colitis as evidenced by histopathological findings, and with respect to apoptosis and gene expression that were related to wound healing process, and suppression of the elevation of Bax mRNA with the upregulation of Bcl-2, which can be considered effective in the treatment of UC.


Key words: Inflammatory bowel disease, Aloe Vera gel, male rat, ulcerative colitis, Bax, BCL-2 gene expression.

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