The effect of exopolysaccharide-producing probiotic strains on gut oxidative damage in experimental colitis

Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Mar;56(3):707-14. doi: 10.1007/s10620-010-1362-7. Epub 2010 Aug 4.


Background: Oxidative stress plays a role in disease initiation and progression in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and manipulation of this pathway may attenuate disease progress. In this study, the effect of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-producing probiotic bacteria on gut oxidative damage was evaluated in a rat model of experimental colitis.

Methods: Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of acetic acid. Rats were treated daily with two probiotic strains, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus B3 strain (EPS of 211 mg/l; high-EPS group) or L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus A13 strain (EPS of 27 mg/l; low-EPS group), which were given directly into the stomach. Non-colitis-fed control and preventative groups were only treated with the high-EPS producing strain. Antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, total glutathione, reduced glutathione, glutathione disulfide) and lipid peroxidation were measured in colonic tissue samples after a treatment period of 7 days.

Results: Significant oxidative damage was associated with a higher level of malondialdehyde (MDA) activity and reduced antioxidant enzyme activities in the colitis model group. All antioxidant enzyme activities were higher in both probiotic-treated groups compared with those of the colitis model group (P < 0.001). Lipid peroxidation was significantly ameliorated in both probiotic groups. The improvement of oxidative stress parameters was significantly more in the high-EPS group than in the low-EPS group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: EPS-producing probiotic bacteria significantly attenuate oxidative stress in experimental colitis. Increased EPS production gives rise to a better probiotic function. These results suggest that EPS molecules could revaluate probiotic strains and exert their beneficial effects on the host and this may have a therapeutic potential.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Colitis / therapy*
  • Colon / enzymology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Probiotics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Acetic Acid