Dietary glutamine and oral antibiotics each improve indexes of gut barrier function in rat short bowel syndrome

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2009 Feb;296(2):G348-55. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.90233.2008. Epub 2008 Dec 18.


Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is associated with gut barrier dysfunction. We examined effects of dietary glutamine (GLN) or oral antibiotics (ABX) on indexes of gut barrier function in a rat model of SBS. Adult rats underwent a 60% distal small bowel + proximal colonic resection (RX) or bowel transection (TX; control). Rats were pair fed diets with or without l-GLN for 20 days after operation. Oral ABX (neomycin, metronidazole, and polymyxin B) were given in some RX rats fed control diet. Stool secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) was measured serially. On day 21, mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) were cultured for gram-negative bacteria. IgA-positive plasma cells in jejunum, stool levels of flagellin- and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-specific sIgA, and serum total, anti-flagellin- and anti-LPS IgG levels were determined. RX caused gram-negative bacterial translocation to MLN, increased serum total and anti-LPS IgG and increased stool total sIgA. After RX, dietary GLN tended to blunt bacterial translocation to MLN (-29%, P = NS) and significantly decreased anti-LPS IgG levels in serum, increased both stool and jejunal mucosal sIgA and increased stool anti-LPS-specific IgA. Oral ABX eliminated RX-induced bacterial translocation, significantly decreased total and anti-LPS IgG levels in serum, significantly decreased stool total IgA and increased stool LPS-specific IgA. Partial small bowel-colonic resection in rats is associated with gram-negative bacterial translocation from the gut and a concomitant adaptive immune response to LPS. These indexes of gut barrier dysfunction are ameliorated or blunted by administration of dietary GLN or oral ABX, respectively. Dietary GLN upregulates small bowel sIgA in this model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Bacterial Translocation / drug effects*
  • Body Weight
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eating
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Flagellin / metabolism
  • Glutamine / administration & dosage*
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / metabolism
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Intestines / surgery
  • Lymph Nodes / drug effects
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Metronidazole / administration & dosage
  • Neomycin / administration & dosage
  • Occludin
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Plasma Cells / drug effects
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • Polymyxin B / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / immunology
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / microbiology
  • Tight Junctions / drug effects
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Occludin
  • Ocln protein, rat
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Tjp1 protein, rat
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein
  • Glutamine
  • Flagellin
  • Metronidazole
  • Neomycin
  • Polymyxin B