The sequences

The sequences click here of primers for murine β-actin [43], GAPDH [45] and TLR-1, -2, -4 and -6 [46] were reported previously. Values are presented as mean ± standard

error of the mean. Macroscopic and histological scores were analysed statistically using the Mann–Whitney U-test. Differences in parametric data were evaluated by the unpaired Student’s t-test. A value of P≤ 0·05 was considered to be significant. Changing the integrity of the bacterial cell surface can impact highly upon the persistence capacity of probiotic bacteria in the GIT [47]. To exclude the possibility that a difference in probiotic efficacy between LGG wild-type and dltD mutant is due merely to a difference in survival, the impact of a dltD mutation was first investigated after simulated gastric juice challenge in vitro and after transit through the murine GIT, as described in Materials and methods. The dltD mutant did not show a reduced survival in simulated gastric juice Cabozantinib of pH 4 (Fig. 1a), corresponding to the pH of the murine stomach [48], or in vivo in the GIT of healthy mice (Fig. 1b). In addition, both wild-type and the mutant were shown to survive the transit through the DSS-induced inflamed murine GIT in equal numbers (Fig. 1c). At the beginning, a number of pilot experiments were performed varying the concentration of DSS (from 1 to 10%), the molecular weight of DSS (35–50 kDa and

500 kDa), the murine strain (BALB/c versus C57/Bl6), the sex of the mice, enough the age of the mice (5–6 weeks versus 7–8 weeks) and the number of DSS administration cycles. In C57/Bl6 mice, we could establish moderate to severe colitis by cycles of 3% DSS, as specified in Materials and methods. LGG wild-type and the dltD mutant were administered via the drinking water starting 3 days before colitis induction. Daily monitoring of the body weight of the mice showed clear differences between the LGG wild-type and the mutant-treated groups (Fig. 1a). These significant differences were also observed in the macroscopic scoring after the mice were killed at day 29 post-DSS-induction; the administration of LGG

wild-type seemed to aggravate the severity of colitic parameters, while the dltD mutant appeared to induce some relief (Table 1 and Fig. 2a). Mice in the PBS-treated group and in the wild-type-treated groups, in contrast with the dltD-treated group, also showed a decrease in survival, as only eight of 10 mice survived in each of these two groups (Table 1). These four mice were euthanized before the end of the experiment for ethical reasons due to severe body weight loss (unintended end-point) and were not included in the analyses of the colitic parameters. The histopathological evaluation of chosen (proximal, mid and distal) colonic segments revealed that the lesions were patchy and were found mainly in the distal part of the colon (Fig. 2b).

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