High fiber dietary and sodium butyrate attenuate experimental autoimmune hepatitis through regulation of immune regulatory cells and intestinal barrier

Cell Immunol. 2018 Jun;328:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2018.03.003. Epub 2018 Mar 22.


Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is chronic autoimmune liver disease accompanied with the imbalance of Treg/Th17 and increased intestinal permeability. We investigated the effects of a high fiber diet and sodium butyrate on the Treg/Th17 and intestinal barrier function in an experimental autoimmune hepatitis. Intraperitoneal injection of hepatic antigen (S100) was used to induce experimental autoimmune hepatitis mice model and mice were divided into normal control, S100 model control, S100 plus high fiber diet and S100 plus sodium butyrate. Serum aminotransferases and liver histology were examined. Short chain fatty acids in feces were determined by HPLC. The ratio of CD4 + C25 + Foxp3+ Treg and CD4 + IL-17 + Th17 were evaluated by flow cytometry. Tight junction proteins Zonula ocluden, Occludin and Claudin-1 were used to assess intestinal barrier function, so does Escherichia coli protein in the liver. Mice fed with either high fiber diet or sodium butyrate showed significantly lower levers of serum aminotransferases and minor liver injury compared to that of model control. Moreover, the ratio of Treg/Th17 was significantly higher in high fiber diet and sodium butyrate fed mice than that in model control. Furthermore, high fiber diet and sodium butyrate significantly increased intestinal tight junction proteins and decreased Escherichia Coli protein in the liver. In conclusion, high fiber diet and sodium butyrate can attenuate development of autoimmune hepatitis through regulation of immune regulatory cells and intestinal barrier function.

Keywords: Autoimmune hepatitis; High fiber dietary; Intestinal permeability; SCFAs; Treg/Th17.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butyric Acid / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / diet therapy*
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / physiopathology*
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / physiology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Dietary Fiber
  • IL17A protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Butyric Acid