Mitigating Effects of Tenebrio molitor Larvae Powder Administration in Mice with Dextran Sodium Sulfate (DSS)- Induced Colitis

Document Type : Research Articles


1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea.

2 Department of Pulmonary Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Tyler, TX 75708-3154, USA.

3 Biology Department at Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA.


Background: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects people worldwide. The causes of UC are diverse, and symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, rectal bleeding, and bloody stools. Tenebrio molitor larvae have recently gained attention as edible insects with various physiological and medical effects. Research on the anti-inflammatory effects of ingesting Tenebrio molitor larvae powder (TMLP) is being actively conducted. In this study, TMLP was administered to mice with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis to investigate its effects in reducing colitis symptoms. Methods: Mice were initially given 3% DSS in water to induce colitis and then feed containing 0%, 2%, or 4% TMLP. Pathologic changes in colon tissues were assessed by histology, and neutrophil levels were measured by myeloperoxidase (MPO) assay. Levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were measured using real-time PCR and ELISA assays, and IκB and NF-kB protein levels were measured by western blotting. Result: Disease Activity Index (DAI) scores and MPO activity were reduced in TMLP-treated mice, and colon length increased as much as normal mice. Pathologic changes in the colon tissues of DSS-induced mice were attenuated, and the expression of inflammatory cytokine genes IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α decreased. Concomitant decreases in the protein expression of IL-1β and IL-6 were confirmed using ELISA. Western blotting revealed that levels of phosphorylated forms of IκB and NF-κB also decreased. Conclusion: These results show that feeding TMLP to DSS-induced mice inhibited the typical inflammatory pathway of colitis. Therefore, TMLP shows potential as a food additive that can help treat colitis.


Main Subjects