Dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor ameliorates 5-flurouracil induced intestinal mucositis

Jung Min Lee, In Kyung Yoo, Jae Min Lee, Seung Han Kim, Hyuk Soon Choi, Eun Sun Kim, Bora Keum, Yeon Seok Seo, Yoon Tae Jeen, Hoon Jai Chun, Hong Sik Lee, Soon Ho Um, Chang Duck Kim

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chemotherapy-induced alimentary mucositis (AM) is difficult to prevent and treatment is rarely effective. Recent study have been showed that glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and GLP-2 has protective in chemotherapy-induced AM. While the DPP-4 enzyme degrades this GLP-1, the DPP-4 inhibitor blocks the degradation process and raises the concentration of GLP-1. This study aimed to assess the role of DPP-4 inhibitor, a well-known hypoglycemic agent, on chemotherapy-induced AM. Methods: Twenty-four 6-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were divided into 4 groups: control, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), DPP-4 inhibitor, and saline (DPP-4i), and DPP-4 inhibitor and 5-FU (DPP-4i + 5-FU). Mucositis was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 5-FU (400 mg/kg). DPP-4 inhibitor (50 mg/kg) was administered orally for four days starting the day before 5-FU administration. Post 72 h of 5-FU injection, mice were sacrificed and body weight change, diarrhea score, villus height, villus/crypt ratio, histologic characteristics including goblet cell count, and mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6, were assessed. Results: Daily body weight change was not statistically significant between the 5-FU and the DPP-4i + 5-FU group (P = 0.571). Diarrhea score was significantly different between these two groups (P = 0.033). In the 5-FU group, the villus height was not maintained well, the epithelial lining was irregular, and inflammatory cell infiltration was observed. Goblet cell count in the DPP-4i + 5-FU group was significantly higher than in the 5-FU group (P = 0.007). However, in the DPP-4i + 5-FU group, the villus height, epithelial lining, and crypt structure were better maintained than in the 5-FU group. Compared with the control group, mRNA expression of TNF-α was significantly up-regulated in the 5-FU group. Moreover, mRNA expression of TNF-α in the DPP-4i + 5-FU group was down-regulated compared to the 5-FU group. However, IL-6 in the 5-FU group was significantly down-regulated compared to the control, there was no significant difference in expression of IL-6 between the 5-FU and DPP4i + 5-FU group. Conclusion: DPP-4 inhibitor can improve 5-FU induced AM and, therefore, has potential as an alternative treatment for chemotherapy-induced AM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1016
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 29

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Alimentary mucositis
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 inhibitor
  • Fluorouracil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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