Dietary threonine prevented stress-related mucosal diseases in rats

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2019 Jun;70(3). doi: 10.26402/jpp.2019.3.14. Epub 2019 Sep 27.


Stress-related mucosal disease (SRMD), or stress ulceration, is a group of conditions ranging from stress-related superficial gastric mucosal damage to deep gastric ulcers that are primarily correlated with mucosal ischemia, and pharmacologic interventions that optimize tissue perfusion or preserve defensive mucus aim to decrease the occurrence of conditions, such as gastric acidity, or enhance gastric defenses. However, the identification of multifactorial pathogenesis may be effective in preventing SMRD, and the use of stress prophylaxis is generally preferred. Since threonine is a component in the polymerization and synthesis of gastric mucin and possibly enhanced defense actions and lignin may provide structural support for defense and antioxidative function, we hypothesized that dietary intake of threonine and/or lignin can enhance defense against SRMD. The water immersion-restraint stress (WIRS) was used in rats and additional groups were pretreated with threonine alone or the combination of threonine and lignin. Based on gross and microscopic evaluations, threonine alone or the combination of threonine and lignin, a natural antioxidant, significantly reduced the development of SRMD (P < 0.05). According to molecular explorations, the levels of inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin (IL)-8, IL-6, IL-1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ), all of which are mediators that play a significant role in controlling WIRS, significantly decreased in the groups pretreated with either threonine alone or the combination of threonine and lignin (P < 0.01). WIRS significantly increased apoptosis in the stomach. However, the apoptotic index significantly decreased with threonine pretreatment. According to periodic acid Schiff staining results, the expression of gastric mucin was significantly preserved in groups pretreated with threonine but remarkedly decreased in the WIRS group. The gastric heme oxygenase-1 levels significantly increased in the group treated with threonine. In conclusion, the dietary intake of threonine or the combination of threonine and lignin is effective in preventing SRMD.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Diet
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lignin / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Stomach Ulcer / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects*
  • Threonine / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Threonine
  • Lignin