The human milk oligosaccharide 2'-fucosyllactose augments the adaptive response to extensive intestinal

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2016 Mar 15;310(6):G427-38. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00305.2015. Epub 2015 Dec 23.


Intestinal resection resulting in short bowel syndrome (SBS) carries a heavy burden of long-term morbidity, mortality, and cost of care, which can be attenuated with strategies that improve intestinal adaptation. SBS infants fed human milk, compared with formula, have more rapid intestinal adaptation. We tested the hypothesis that the major noncaloric human milk oligosaccharide 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL) contributes to the adaptive response after intestinal resection. Using a previously described murine model of intestinal adaptation, we demonstrated increased weight gain from 21 to 56 days (P < 0.001) and crypt depth at 56 days (P < 0.0095) with 2'-FL supplementation after ileocecal resection. Furthermore, 2'-FL increased small bowel luminal content microbial alpha diversity following resection (P < 0.005) and stimulated a bloom in organisms of the genus Parabacteroides (log2-fold = 4.1, P = 0.035). Finally, transcriptional analysis of the intestine revealed enriched ontologies and pathways related to antimicrobial peptides, metabolism, and energy processing. We conclude that 2'-FL supplementation following ileocecal resection increases weight gain, energy availability through microbial community modulation, and histological changes consistent with improved adaptation.

Keywords: 2′-fucosyllactose; human milk oligosaccharide; intestinal adaptation; short bowel syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Cecum / surgery
  • Diet
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Ileum / surgery
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Intestines / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microbiota
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / biosynthesis
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Trisaccharides / chemistry
  • Trisaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Trisaccharides
  • 2'-fucosyllactose