Skip to main content

15.12.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2017

International Journal of Colorectal Disease 5/2017

Myrrh exerts barrier-stabilising and -protective effects in HT-29/B6 and Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells

International Journal of Colorectal Disease > Ausgabe 5/2017
Rita Rosenthal, Julia Luettig, Nina A. Hering, Susanne M. Krug, Uwe Albrecht, Michael Fromm, Jörg-Dieter Schulzke
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00384-016-2736-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Myrrh, the oleo-gum resin of Commiphora molmol, is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In different animal models, it protected against DSS-, TNBS- and oxazolone-induced colitis. To date, no information concerning the effect of myrrh on barrier properties are available. Thus, this study investigates the effect of myrrh on paracellular barrier function in the absence or presence of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα.


Monolayers of human colon cell lines HT-29/B6 and Caco-2 were incubated with myrrh under control conditions or after challenge with the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα. Barrier function was analysed by electrophysiological and permeability measurements, Western blotting, immunostaining in combination with confocal microscopy, and freeze-fracture electron microscopy.


In Caco-2 cells, myrrh induced an increase in transepithelial resistance (TER) which was associated with downregulation of the channel-forming tight junction (TJ) protein claudin-2 via inhibition of the PI3 kinase signalling pathway. In HT-29/B6 cells, myrrh had no effect on barrier properties under basic conditions, but protected against barrier damage induced by TNFα, as indicated by a decrease in TER and an increase in fluorescein permeability. The TNFα effect was associated with a redistribution of the sealing TJ protein claudin-1, an increase in the expression of claudin-2 and a change in TJ ultrastructure. Most importantly, all TNFα effects were inhibited by myrrh. The effect of myrrh on claudin-2 expression in this cell line was mediated via inhibition of the STAT6 pathway.


This study shows for the first time that myrrh exerts barrier-stabilising and TNFα-antagonising effects in human intestinal epithelial cell models via inhibition of PI3K and STAT6 signalling. This suggests therapeutic application of myrrh in intestinal diseases associated with barrier defects and inflammation.

Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten

e.Med Interdisziplinär

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Premium-Inhalten der Fachzeitschriften, inklusive eines Print-Abos.

Weitere Produktempfehlungen anzeigen
High Resolution (TIFF 219 kb)
High Resolution (TIFF 136 kb)
Table S1 (PDF 76 kb)
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 5/2017

International Journal of Colorectal Disease 5/2017Zur Ausgabe
  1. Das kostenlose Testabonnement läuft nach 14 Tagen automatisch und formlos aus. Dieses Abonnement kann nur einmal getestet werden.

  2. Das kostenlose Testabonnement läuft nach 14 Tagen automatisch und formlos aus. Dieses Abonnement kann nur einmal getestet werden.

Neu im Fachgebiet Chirurgie

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Chirurgie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.