VSL#3 probiotics regulate the intestinal epithelial barrier in vivo and in vitro via the p38 and ERK signaling pathways

Cong Dai, De-Hui Zhao, Min Jiang
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 2012, 29 (2): 202-8
Probiotics can play a role in enhancing intestinal barrier function. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of VSL#3 probiotics on colonic epithelium permeability, tight junction protein expression and MAPKs signaling pathways in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, acute colitis was induced by administration of 3.5% dextran sodium sulfate for 7 days. Rats in two groups were treated with either 15 mg VSL#3 or placebo via a gastric tube once daily after induction of colitis. Tight junction protein expression and the MAPKs signaling pathways were studied by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. In vitro, HT-29 cells were exposed to TNF-α for up to 48 h with or without pre-treatment with a p38 MAPK inhibitor, an ERK inhibitor or a JNK inhibitor. Then tight junction proteins and the phosphorylation of MAPKs were examined in the presence or absence of VSL#3. In vivo, VSL#3 probiotics significantly ameliorated the disease activity index from Day 4 onward. In acute colitis rats, decreased expression of the tight junction proteins were observed, whereas VSL#3 therapy prevented these changes and increased the expression of phosphorylated p38 (P-p38), and of phosphorylated ERK (P-ERK). In vitro, tight junction proteins, P-p38 and P-ERK in the VSL#3 group were significantly higher than in the control and TNF-α groups. The p38 MAPK inhibitor and the ERK inhibitor could effectively prevent this effect. VSL#3 probiotics protected the epithelial barrier and increased the tight junction protein expression in vivo and in vitro by activating the p38 and ERK signaling pathways.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"