Author(s): Nishihira T, Shineha R, Kuroiwa T, Ichikawa H, Inagaki A
Probiotics are used for various intestinal diseases. However, their effects on gut epithelial cell proliferation have not been investigated. We administered 10(7) colony-forming units of Lactobacillus casei or Clostridium butyricum, or no probiotics (control) by gastric intubation once a day for seven days to rats fed an elemental diet. We estimated the crypt cell production rate of the jejunum, ileum, cecum, and distal colon. We also quantified cecal bacteria. Both probiotics increased the crypt cell production rate of the jejunum and ileum by 25-40%, of the cecum by 70%, and of the distal colon by more than 200% compared with control. Only minor variance in the cecal bacterial composition existed among the three groups. Probiotics enhanced gut epithelial cell proliferation in rats fed an elemental diet.