ADMINISTRATION OF BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS REDUCES INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION IN A RAT MODEL OF NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS

picture of Ashwini Kaveti presenting his/her poster: ADMINISTRATION OF BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS REDUCES INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION IN A RAT MODEL OF NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS

Ashwini Kaveti , Jennifer Arriola, Colin W. Gerber, Bohuslav Dvorak

ADMINISTRATION OF BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS REDUCES INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION IN A RAT MODEL OF NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating gastrointestinal disease that affects more than 9,000 premature infants in the United States each year.  The cause of NEC is unknown, but bacterial colonization of the intestines plays a critical role in NEC pathogenesis.  Probiotics, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli,are nonpathogenic microorganisms that inhabit the intestine.  Clinical studies have shown that oral administration of probiotics decreases the incidence of NEC.  Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are proteins located on the surface of intestinal and immune cells that maintain communication between microbes and the immune system.  Cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-8, TNF-a, and IL-23, regulate inflammation in NEC as well as regulate immune response.  Apoptosis sustains the homeostasis between intestinal epithelium and mucosa protection. 

Aim:  This goal of this study is to investigate the intestinal inflammatory response and apoptosis given the oral administration of a specific probiotic. 

Methods: Premature rats were divided into two daily feeding groups: formula-fed (FF) and formula supplemented with 5 X 106 CFU B. longum ssp infantis (B. infantis).  Rats were exposed to asphyxia/cold stress to induce NEC that was then evaluated using histology. 

Results: Addition of B. infantis in formula decreased NEC incidence from 76% to 38% (p=0.02) in the rat NEC model.  This treatment reduced TLR4 expression and did not affect TLR2 expression.  Cytokine mRNA levels were significantly reduced in the B. infantis treated rat group.  Intestinal epithelial apoptosis was not affected by the supplemented treatment. 

Conclusion: This study demonstrated the benefits of B. infantis against experimental NEC.  Supplementation of B. infantis reduced TLR4 signaling and decreased inflammation in the intestine.  It was interesting to see, however, that B. infantis did not affect regulation of intestinal apoptosis.  Understanding the effects of probiotics on NEC injury may allow for future treatment and preventative methods.  Supported as a gift from the PANDA Healthy Babies Project.

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