Dietary intervention with serum-derived bovine immunoglobulins protects barrier function in a mouse model of colitis

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015 Jun 15;308(12):G1012-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00378.2014.


Dietary supplementation with immunoglobulins from animal plasma has anti-inflammatory effects on intestinal and lung models of acute inflammation. Here, we aimed to establish whether dietary intervention with serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin (SBI) can prevent alterations in intestinal barrier function in a mouse model with a genetic predisposition to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Wild-type (WT) mice and mice lacking the mdr1a gene (KO) were fed diets supplemented with either SBI (2% wt/wt) or milk proteins (control diet), from day 21 (weaning) until day 56. The epithelial permeability of distal colon crypts was measured by confocal microscopy using a fluorescent marker. The expression of junctional epithelial E-cadherin and β-catenin proteins were determined by Western blot and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) by immunofluorescence. Mucins (MUC1, MUC2, MUC4), TFF3, cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ), and inducible nitric oxide synthase RNA expression were quantified by real-time PCR. SBI blocked the increase in colon crypt permeability and partially prevented the reduction in E-cadherin and ZO-1 expression that characterize the KO mouse model (both P < 0.05). SBI inclusion also reduced the mucosal expression of the inflammatory markers TNF-α, IFN-γ, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (all P < 0.005). The number of goblet cells in the colon of KO mice was low and correlated well with MUC2 and TFF3 expression (P < 0.001), whereas dietary supplementation with SBI attenuated these effects (all P < 0.05). In short, dietary SBI ameliorated colonic barrier alterations and reduced the expression of mucosal inflammatory markers in a genetic model of IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Colitis / drug therapy
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulins / therapeutic use
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Cadherins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Protective Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha