Calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) is involved in maintaining cellular homeostasis and promoting recovery of damaged intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). Poly-L-lysine (PL) is a basic polypeptide identified for its role in the activation of CaSR through allosteric binding. The primary goal of the current study was to identify the modulatory effect of PL on intestinal inflammation and to determine whether these effects were mediated by CaSR activation. We used human intestinal epithelial cell lines, Caco-2 and HT-29, to assess PL anti-inflammatory activities in vitro. We found that PL reduced the IL-8 secretion from tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-treated human intestinal epithelial cell lines. On the other hand, the gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β was inhibited by PL supplementation. We subsequently evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of PL in vivo using a DSS-induced mouse colitis model. PL supplementation was shown to prevent dextran sulfate sodium salt (DSS)-induced loss of weight, colitic symptoms, and shortening of colon length but maintained colonic morphology. The pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in the mouse colon, including TNF-α, IL-6, INF-γ, IL-17, and IL-1β, was significantly up-regulated by DSS treatment, but was inhibited upon PL administration. As shown by the results from both in vitro and in vivo studies, the reduction of inflammatory cytokine production caused by PL was reversed by NPS-2143 pretreatment. In the present study, we provide evidence that PL exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the gut system, which is primarily mediated by allosteric ligand activation of CaSR.
Keywords: anti-inflammatory activity; calcium-sensing receptor; chronic inflammation; colitis; poly-l-lysine.