Preventative effects of a probiotic, Lactobacillus salivarius ssp. salivarius, in the TNBS model of rat colitis

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Sep 7;11(33):5185-92. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i33.5185.


Aim: To investigate the intestinal anti-inflammatory effect and mechanism of a probiotic Lactobacillus salivarius ssp. salivarius CECT5713 in the TNBS model of rat colitis.

Methods: Female Wistar rats (180-200 g) were used in this study. A group of rats were administered orally the probiotic L. salivarius ssp. salivarius (5x10(8) CFU suspended in 0.5 mL of skimmed milk) daily for 3 wk. Two additional groups were used for reference, a non-colitic and a control colitic without probiotic treatment, which received orally the vehicle used to administer the probiotic. Two weeks after starting the experiment, the rats were rendered colitic by intracolonic administration of 10 mg of TNBS dissolved in 0.25 mL of 500 mL/L ethanol. One week after colitis induction, all animals were killed and colonic damage was evaluated both histologically and biochemically. The biochemical studies performed in colonic homogenates include determination of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, glutathione (GSH) content, leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) levels, as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. In addition, the luminal contents obtained from colonic samples were used for microbiological studies, in order to determine Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria counts.

Results: Treatment of colitic rats with L. salivarius ssp. salivarius resulted in amelioration of the inflammatory response in colitic rats, when compared with the corresponding control group without probiotic treatment. This anti-inflammatory effect was evidenced macroscopically by a significant reduction in the extent of colonic necrosis and/or inflammation induced by the administration of TNBS/ethanol (2.3+/-0.4 cm vs 3.4+/-0.3 cm in control group, P<0.01) and histologically by improvement of the colonic architecture associated with a reduction in the neutrophil infiltrate in comparison with non-treated colitic rats. The latter was confirmed biochemically by a significant reduction of colonic MPO activity (105.3+/-26.0 U/g vs 180.6+/-21.9 U/g, P<0.05), a marker of neutrophil infiltration. The beneficial effect was associated with an increase of the colonic GSH content (1252+/-42 nmol/g vs 1087+/-51 nmol/g, P<0.05), which is depleted in colitic rats, as a consequence of the oxidative stress induced by the inflammatory process. In addition, the treatment of colitic rats with L. salivarius resulted in a significant reduction of colonic TNF-alpha levels (509.4+/-68.2 pg/g vs 782.9+/-60.1 pg/g, P<0.01) and in a lower colonic iNOS expression, when compared to TNBS control animals without probiotic administration. Finally, treated colitic rats showed higher counts of Lactobacilli species in colonic contents than control colitic rats, whereas no differences were observed in Bifidobacteria counts.

Conclusion: Administration of the probiotic L. salivarius ssp. salivarius CECT5713 facilitates the recovery of the inflamed tissue in the TNBS model of rat colitis, an effect associated with amelioration of the production of some of the mediators involved in the inflammatory response in the intestine, such as cytokines, including TNF-alpha and NO. This beneficial effect could be ascribed to its effect on the altered immune response that occurs in this inflammatory condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis / chemically induced*
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Female
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Lactobacillus*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid*


  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid