Emu Oil and zinc monoglycerolate independently reduce disease severity in a rat model of ulcerative colitis

Suzanne Mashtoub, Gordon S. Howarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ulcerative colitis is characterized by colonic inflammation. Previously, Emu Oil protected the intestine against experimentally-induced inflammatory intestinal disorders. Zinc monoglycerolate (ZMG) polymer, formed by heating zinc oxide with glycerol, demonstrated anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. We aimed to determine whether ZMG, alone or in combination with Emu Oil, could reduce acute colitis severity in rats. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 8/group) were orally-administered either vehicle, ZMG, Emu Oil (EO) or ZMG combined with EO (ZMG/EO) daily. Rats were provided ad libitum access to drinking water (Groups 1–4) or dextran sulphate sodium (DSS; 2%w/v; Groups 5–8) throughout the trial (days 0–5) before euthanasia on day 6. Disease activity index, crypt depth, degranulated mast cells (DMCs) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were assessed. p < 0.05 was considered significant. DSS increased disease severity (days 3–6) compared to normal controls (p < 0.05). Importantly, in DSS-administered rats, ZMG/EO (day 3) and ZMG (day 6) reduced disease activity index compared to controls (p < 0.05). Following DSS consumption, distal colonic crypts lengthened (p < 0.01), occurring to a greater extent with EO compared to ZMG and ZMG/EO (p < 0.001). DSS increased colonic DMC numbers compared to normal controls (p < 0.001); an effect decreased only by EO (p < 0.05). Colonic MPO activity increased following DSS consumption (p < 0.05); notably, ZMG, EO and ZMG/EO treatments decreased MPO activity compared to DSS controls (p < 0.001). EO, ZMG and ZMG/EO did not impact any parameter in normal animals. Emu Oil and ZMG independently decreased selected indicators of colitic disease severity in rats; however, the combination did not reveal any additional benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1345
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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