The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of 5-aminosalicyclic acid (5-ASA) on the cell injury mediated by activated neutrophils. We used a system constituted of neutrophils, triggered with phorbol myristate acetate, and 51Cr-labelled Daudi cells as targets. The results show that 5-ASA is capable of efficiently preventing neutrophil-mediated lysis. 5-ASA was up to 10-fold more effective than taurine, which acts as an hypochlorous acid scavenger. Moreover, 5-ASA was found to compete with taurine for the neutrophil derived hypochlorous acid. The results are consistent with the conclusion that 5-ASA is capable of limiting the neutrophil mediated cell damage by scavenging the generated hypochlorous acid. This may represent a potential mechanism for the therapeutic action of 5-ASA in ulcerative colitis.
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