Bifidobacterium breve prevents necrotising enterocolitis by suppressing inflammatory responses in a preterm rat model

Benef Microbes. 2016 Feb;7(1):75-82. doi: 10.3920/BM2015.0035. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is associated with inflammatory responses and barrier dysfunction in the gut. In this study, we investigated the effect of Bifidobacterium breve M-16V on factors related to NEC development using an experimental rat model. Caesarean-sectioned rats were given formula milk with or without B. breve M-16V by oral gavage thrice daily, and experimental NEC was induced by exposing the rats to hypoxic conditions. Naturally delivered rats that were reared by their mother were used as healthy controls. The pathological score of NEC and the expression of molecules related to inflammatory responses and the barrier function were assessed in the ileum. B. breve M-16V reduced the pathological scores of NEC and resulted in some improvement in survivability. B. breve M-16V suppressed the increased expression of molecules related to inflammation and barrier function that resulted from NEC induction. B. breve M-16V normalised Toll-like receptor (TRL)4 expression and enhanced TLR2 expression. Our data suggest that B. breve M-16V prevents NEC development by modulating TLR expressions and suppressing inflammatory responses in a rat model.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium; Toll-like receptors; necrotising enterocolitis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium breve*
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / metabolism
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / prevention & control*
  • Gene Expression
  • Ileum / metabolism
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Probiotics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Survival Analysis
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Toll-Like Receptors