Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disabling inflammatory bowel disease. UC is characterized by chronic, relapsing inflammation of the colon and rectum. Current treatments such as monoclonal antibodies against TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12/p40, adhesion molecules, Janus kinases (JAK) inhibitors have side effects or lose their effects over time. Alternative approaches with fewer side effects for patients are needed. Montmorency tart cherries (Prunus cerasus) are a good source of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. We hypothesized that regular consumption whole tart cherry (TC) standardized to its major anthocyanin content, namely cyanidin-3-glucosyl-rutinoside, would be effective in reducing inflammation in UC. The aim of this research was to evaluate the protective effect of TC in a rat model of UC induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). The anthocyanin profile and content of the TC were analyzed by UHPLC-PDA-MS. Cyanidin-3-glucosyl-rutinoside (6.14 ± 0.70 mg/serving size) and cyanidin-3- rutinoside (4.47 ± 0.68 mg/serving size) were the major anthocyanins in TC extracts. Rats were randomly assigned to one of nine groups (n = 6 each group). UC was induced by adding 4% DSS to the drinking water for 5 days. For the UC prevention group, TC was administered orally in servings equivalent to one or two serving sizes for humans (155 or 310 g of cherries/ 70 kg BW/ day which is translated into 2.21 g/kg BW/day or 4.42 g/kg BW/day for a rat) for 2 weeks prior to DSS administration. For the UC-intervention groups, TC was administered orally in servings of 2.21 g/kg BW/day or 4.42 g/kg BW/day during the DSS administration. For the UC-treatment groups, TC was administered orally in serving of 2.21 g/kg BW/day or 4.42 g/kg BW/day for 2 weeks after the DSS administration. TC at single or double serving reduced leucocyte infiltration in the colon. TC as a prevention, intervention or treatment significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the secretion of xi myeloperoxidase (MPO), IL-6, IL-12/p40, IL-17A, TNF-α, and JAK1 and increased the secretion of anti-inflammatory IL-10 and JAK3. IL-1ß was not significantly reduced by TC (p > 0.05). TC containing cyanidin-3-glucosyl-rutinoside showed promising results in reducing the secretion of inflammatory markers in an experimental rat model of DSS-induced UC.



Committee Chair

Losso, Jack N