The enriched levels of nondigestible fermentable carbohydrates and phenolic compounds found in common beans can exert immunomodulatory effects within the colon that improve gut health and mitigate the severity of colitis-associated inflammatory pathology. Prior to acute colitis onset, C57Bl/6 mice were prefed isocaloric 20% cooked navy bean (NB) or black bean (BB) diets for 3 weeks and switched to control basal diet (BD) 24 h prior to colitis induction via 5-day exposure to dextran sodium sulfate (2% w/v in drinking water)+3 days of fresh water. The severity of the acute colitis phenotype was attenuated by bean prefeeding, evidenced by reduced colon tissue inflammatory transcription factor activation (NFκB, STAT3) and inflammatory mediator levels in the colon (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-18 and MCP-1) and serum (TNFα, IL-6, IL-1β, MCP-1) versus BD (P≤.05). Additionally, biomarkers of enhanced wound repair responses were increased by bean prefeeding including colon tissue protein levels of IL-22, IL-27 and activated (i.e., GTP-bound) Cdc42 and Rac1 versus BD (P≤.05). mRNA expressions of genes involved in normal colonic epithelial function and the promotion of epithelial barrier integrity, defense and/or restitution and wound closure including MUC1, RELMβ, IgA and REG3γ were all increased in NB and BB prefed mice versus BD (P≤.05). Collectively, bean supplementation prior to colitis induction (i.e., mimicking disease relapse) primes the colonic microenvironment to attenuate the severity of the colitis inflammatory phenotype and maintain aspects of epithelial barrier function.
Keywords: Black beans; Colitis; Dextran sodium sulfate; Epithelial barrier damage; Inflammation; Navy beans; Wound repair.
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