Faecalibacterium prausnitzii supernatant improves intestinal barrier function in mice DSS colitis

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013 Oct;48(10):1136-44. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.828773. Epub 2013 Aug 26.


OBJECTIVE. The intestinal microbiota plays a substantial role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (FP) is underrepresented in IBD patients and have been suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects in mice. Increased intestinal permeability is common in IBD but the relationship between FP and intestinal barrier function has not been investigated. Our aim was to study treatment with FP supernatant on intestinal barrier function in a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) colitis mice model. MATERIAL AND METHODS. C57BL/6 mice received 3% DSS in tap water ad libitum during five days to induce colitis. From day 3 the mice received a daily gavage with FP supernatant or broth during seven days. Ileum and colon were mounted in Ussing chambers for permeability studies with (51)Cr-EDTA and Escherichia coli K-12. Colon was saved for Western blot analyses of tight junction proteins. RESULTS. DSS-treated mice showed significant weight loss and colon shortening. Gavage with FP supernatant resulted in a quicker recovery after DSS treatment and less extensive colonic shortening. Ileal mucosa of DSS mice showed a significant increase in (51)Cr-EDTA-passage compared to controls. (51)Cr-EDTA passage was significantly decreased in mice receiving FP supernatant. No significant differences were observed in passage of E. coli K12. Western blots showed a trend to increased claudin-1 and claudin-2 expressions in DSS mice. CONCLUSIONS. Supernatant of FP enhances the intestinal barrier function by affecting paracellular permeability, and may thereby attenuate the severity of DSS-induced colitis in mice. These findings suggest a potential role of FP in the treatment of IBD.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Claudin-1 / metabolism
  • Claudin-2 / metabolism
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colitis / therapy*
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Female
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria*
  • Ileum / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Permeability
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Claudin-1
  • Claudin-2
  • Dextran Sulfate