Anti-inflammatory Effect of Amitriptyline on Ulcerative Colitis in Normal and Reserpine-Induced Depressed Rats

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Pharmacology and Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Pathology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Depressive disorders are more common among persons with chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and anti-inflammatory effect of some antidepressants such as amitriptyline has been reported. Acetic acid colitis was induced in both reserpinised (depressed) and non-reserpinised (normal) rats. Reserpinised groups received reserpine (6 mg/kg, i.p.) one hour prior to colitis induction. Then Amitriptyline (5, 10, 20 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to separate groups of male Wistar rats. All treatments were carried out two hours after colitis induction and continued daily for four days. Dexamethasone (1 mg/kg) and normal saline (1 ml/kg) were used in reference and control groups, respectively. At day five, animals were euthanized and colonic tissue injuries were assessed macroscopically and pathologically. Myeloperoxidase activity as a marker of neutrophil infiltration was also measured in colonic tissues. Results showed that reserpine (6 mg/kg, i.p.) intensified colitic condition. Compared to control, amitriptyline (10, 20 mg/kg) and dexamethasone significantly decreased weight of colon and ulcer index in normal and reserpine-induced depressed rats. Myeloperoxidase activity and pathological assessments also proved anti-inflammatory effect of amitriptyline. Our results suggest that amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, could reduce inflammatory and ulcerative injuries of colon both in normal and depressed rats. So among the wide spread anti-depressant drugs, amitriptyline is a good choice to treat depression comorbidities in patients with IBD.


Main Subjects