Humulus japonicus shows therapeutic effects on inflammation, infection and tuberculosis. Postoperative ileus (POI) is a common symptom that presents after abdominal surgery and is accompanied by inflammation as well as decreased gastrointestinal (GI) motility. We hypothesized that H. japonicus extract (HJE) may improve POI-induced inflammation and decreased GI motility. POI was induced by externalizing the intestine after abdominal surgery, covering the intestine with moist cotton, manipulating and suturing. To confirm the effects of HJE treatment, GI motility was assessed by measuring the gastric emptying (GE) (%) and mean geometric center (MGC). Ileum tissues were analyzed to measure levels of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1 β), and oxidative stress factors such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA). HJE significantly increased the GE and MGC in GI tract. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays revealed that treatment with HJE reduced TNF-α and IL-1β levels in the POI-induced group. HJE relieved oxidative stress by significantly improving SOD activity, GSH and MDA levels. HJE shows potential in improving gastrointestinal motility and exhibits therapeutic efficacy via anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects on the GI tract.

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