Bacillus coagulans in Combination with Chitooligosaccharides Regulates Gut Microbiota and Ameliorates the DSS-Induced Colitis in Mice

Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Aug 31;10(4):e0064122. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.00641-22. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic inflammatory disorders, which may be caused by intestinal barrier dysfunction, immune system disorders and intestinal microbiota dysbiosis. Synbiotic, the combination of probiotics and prebiotics, is thought to be a pragmatic approach in mitigating inflammation in UC. Bacillus coagulans has been recognized as a potential probiotic for treating intestinal diseases because of its favorable industrial and probiotic properties, including sporulation and lactic acid production. In this study, we evaluated the treatment effects of the B. coagulans FCYS01 spores with or without the chitooligosaccharides (COSs) on UC generated using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in mice. Supplementation of B. coagulans spores, prebiotic COSs or the synbiotic (the spores + COSs) had a significant positive effect on DSS-induced UC. The disease activity index and histological damage score were significantly reduced after these supplementations. Compared to DSS group, these supplementations also significantly modulated the cytokines IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and significantly maintained expressions of tight junction proteins and mucin protein and promotes recovery of the intestinal barrier. In addition, these supplementations regulate the composition of gut microbiota and improve the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), through enrichment of SCFA-producing bacteria, such as Akkermansia and Ruminococcus species. In summary, the synbiotic ameliorated the overall inflammatory status of the experimental UC model and showed a better treatment effect than B. coagulans or COSs did alone as revealed by the markers such as, colon length, IL-4 and Occludin levels. IMPORTANCE Probiotic and prebiotic are believed to be useful in alleviating the inflammatory, thereby resolving or preventing the severity of UC. Spore-forming bacteria Bacillus coagulans show advantages of stability and probiotic effects, being suggested as the important probiotics for UC treatment. Here, we demonstrate that administration of B. coagulans spores, chitooligosaccharides (COSs), or the synbiotic attenuates DSS-induced colitis and significantly correlates with altered gut immune responses. The treatment effect of the synbiotic is inferred to be relied on the enrichment of probiotic bacteria, such as Akkermansia and Ruminococcaceae species, which are reported to be crucial important for gut health. Our findings facilitate the development of therapeutic and preventive strategies for UC using spore-forming lactic acid bacteria in combination with COSs.

Keywords: Bacillus coagulans; chitooligosaccharides; microbiota; short-chain fatty acids; synbiotic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacillus coagulans*
  • Chitosan
  • Colitis* / drug therapy
  • Colitis* / therapy
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / drug therapy
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / microbiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / pathology
  • Colon
  • Dextran Sulfate / adverse effects
  • Dextran Sulfate / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dysbiosis
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-4 / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Oligosaccharides


  • Oligosaccharides
  • oligochitosan
  • Interleukin-4
  • Chitosan
  • Dextran Sulfate