Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are a group of idiopathic, chronic immune-mediated diseases characterized by an aberrant immune response, including imbalances of inflammatory cytokine production and activated innate and adaptive immunity. Selective blockade of leukocyte migration into the gut is a promising strategy for the treatment of IBD. This study explored the effect of the immunomodulating tellurium compound ammonium trichloro (dioxoethylene-o, o′) tellurate (AS101) on dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced murine colitis. Both oral and intraperitoneal administration of AS101 significantly reduced clinical manifestations of IBD. Colonic inflammatory cytokine levels (IL-17 and IL-1β) were significantly down-regulated by AS101 treatment, whereas IFN-γ was not affected. Neutrophil and α4β7+ macrophage migration into the tissue was inhibited by AS101 treatment. Adhesion of mesenteric lymph node cells to mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule (MAdCAM-1), the ligand for α4β7 integrin, was blocked by AS101 treatment both in vitro and in vivo. DSS-induced destruction of colonic epithelial barrier/integrity was prevented by AS101, via up-regulation of colonic glial-derived neurotrophic factor, which was found previously to regulate the intestinal epithelial barrier through activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. Indeed, the up-regulation of glial-derived neurotrophic factor by AS101 was associated with increased levels of colonic pAKT and BCL-2 and decreased levels of BAX. Furthermore, AS101 treatment reduced colonic permeability to Evans blue and decreased colonic TUNEL+ cells. Our data revealed multifunctional activities of AS101 in the DSS-induced colitis model via anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. We suggest that treatment with the small, nontoxic molecule AS101 may be an effective early therapeutic approach for controlling human IBD.