Background: Studies in clinical and experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have shown disturbances in intestinal bacterial flora with an increase in potentially pathogenic and a decrease in protective organisms. It was hypothesized that Lactobacillus plantarum species 299 (LP299), a probiotic, would ameliorate colitis and improve intestinal permeability in experimental colitis. This study investigated the effect of LP299 in the trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid/ethanol (TNBS/E) rat model of colitis.
Methods: Twelve week old male Wistar rats were randomized to receive rectal instillates of either TNBS/E (n = 48) or saline (n = 16). For the next 7 days the animals were gavaged with 2.5 ml of oat fibre suspension containing 10(9) colony forming units (CFU) of LP299 (LP299/OF), oat fibre suspension alone (OF) or no treatment. At the end of the experiment rats received radiolabelled polyethylene glycol and urine was collected for 24 h to assess permeability. Animals were then anaesthetized and colons were harvested for colon macroscopic scoring (CMS).
Results: TNBS/E per rectum resulted in a greater CMS (P < 0.001) and gut permeability (P = 0.006) than saline. Administration of LP299/OF or oat fibre alone did not result in a reduction in CMS or gut permeability when compared to colitic controls.
Conclusions: LP299/OF, when administered after TNBS instillation, does not reduce the severity of colitis or improve gut permeability in this hapten model of colitis.