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


Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy

Author(s): Dai C, Zhao DH, Jiang M

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Abstract 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. This article was published in Int J Mol Med and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy

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