Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic inflammatory conditions, characterised by remissions and relapses episodes, whose main manifestations are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis (UC), one of the main forms of IBD, has as standard treatment the use of corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. The use of antibiotics has been also reported, but the possible adverse effects, such as disturbance of the indigenous microbiota or resistance induction, should be taken into consideration, and thus the use of probiotics emerges as a possible alternative option of treatment. In this study, the oral administration of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis BB-02 was evaluated as a preventive strategy for acute experimental UC induced in female BALB/c mice by ingestion of 3.5% dextran sulphate sodium in drinking water during 7 days. During this time, the daily disease activity index was evaluated, and on the seventh day the animals were euthanised to collect intestines and liver for analysis. Treatment with the probiotic resulted in clinical improvement of the animals. The histological and morphometric analyses showed a reduction of lesions and oedema in the gut, but there was no increase in the production of mucin. The dosage of secretory immunoglobulin A was significantly higher in the colitis group and reduced in the group treated with the probiotic. There was also a reduction in the inflammation of the colon, as demonstrated by a decrease in neutrophils infiltration, and KC/CXCL-1 levels. The intestinal permeability, which is typically increased during the onset of IBD, was also reduced by treatment with probiotic. Based on these data, it can be concluded that the bacterium B. infantis BB-02 has a probiotic potential for the attenuation of UC, but further studies should be conducted to verify the mechanism of protective action of the bacterium.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium infantis; Inflammatory bowel diseases; inflammatory cytokines; ulcerative colitis.