Brownlee, I.A.; Havler, M.E.; Dettmar, P.W.; Allen, A.; Pearson, J.P.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA95
Academic Journal
This study aimed to determine the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and butyrate on the protective capacity of the colonic mucus layer in vivo. An intravital microscopy technique was used to measure the maximal thickness and replenishment rates (rate of mucus secretion after partial removal of the layer by suction) of the colonic mucus layer of anaesthetised male Wistar rats (n = 5 for each treatment) over 5 h under 7 mM butyrate (normal concentration in the rat colon), as well as ROS solutions containing 0.5 mM Fe[sup ++]/EDTA mixed with 5-50 mM H[sub 2]O[sub 2]. These effects were compared to saline controls (n = 5). Maximal mucus thickness was not affected by 7 mM butyrate or 10 mM H[sub 2]O[sub 2], but 5 mM H[sub 2]O[sub 2] significantly increased maximal mucus thickness, whereas ROS solutions containing more than 10 mM peroxide (ie 17.5, 25, and 50 mM) significantly reduced the thickness of the mucus barrier (50% in the case of 50 mM H[sub 2]O[sub 2]). 7 mM butyrate significantly increased mucus layer replenishment rate over the first hour of measurement (×3 faster than the saline control. Measurement of the effect of ROS on colonic mucus layer replenishment was hampered by release of plasma exudate and red blood cells from the colonic mucosa. This suggests that Iow millimolar concentrations of butyrate and ROS may increase the protective capacity of the colonic mucus layer, possibly as a cytoprotective response. Higher levels of ROS appear to be damaging to both the mucus layer and mucosa, especially once the mucus layer is depleted. This study shows that bacterial metabolites may alter the protective potential of the colonic mucus barrier.


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