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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias

CiteScore 2017: 1.41

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.472
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.564

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Effect of Morus alba root bark extract on gene-level expression of inflammatory markers in rats subjected to ethanol and cerulein induced pancreatitis– influence of heat shock protein 70

Kavitha Yuvaraj / Arumugam Geetha
Published Online: 2018-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2017-0149



Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a persistent inflammation of the pancreas clinically presented with severe abdominal pain, progressive fibrosis, and loss of exocrine and endocrine functions. Inflammasomes, cytosolic multiprotein complexes which regulate the formation of proinflammatory cytokines, are influenced by various factors including heat shock proteins (HSPs). Morus alba L., or white mulberry root bark is a valued traditional Asian medicine with a diverse array of phytochemicals. The aim of this investigation was to define the modulatory action of methanolic extract of Morus alba root bark (MEMARB) on NLRP3 inflammasome, and HSPs in pancreas subjected to inflammatory insult.


Pancreatitis was induced in male albino Wistar rats by ethanol (0–36%) and cerulein (20 µg/kg b.wt., i.p.) for 5 weeks with or without MEMARB administration. Serum lipase/amylase (L/A) ratio, oxidative stress index (OSI) and reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio in the pancreas were evaluated. Levels of serum HSP70 was quantified by ELISA. NF-kappa B, NLRP3-ASC, caspase-1, IL-1β, IL-18, and HSP70 gene expression was quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).


L/A ratio and oxidative stress determined in terms of OSI and GSH/GSSG ratio were elevated in pancreatitis-induced rats. The levels were restored in MEMARB co-administered animals. Serum level of HSP70 was increased in pancreatitis-induced animals and dropped significantly in MEMARB co-administrated rats. Pancreatitis-induced group showed increased expression of NF-kappa B, IL-1β, IL-18, caspase-1, NLRP3-ASC and HSP70 mRNA than in MEMARB treated group.


It can be concluded that the M. alba root extract modulates the expression of HSP70 and NLRP3-ASC which might be attributed to its pancreato-protective effect.

Keywords: HSP70; interleukins; Morus alba; NF-kappa B; NLRP3-ASC


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About the article

Received: 2017-11-07

Accepted: 2018-07-17

Published Online: 2018-10-18

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 20170149, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2017-0149.

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