• Probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 inhibits leaky gut by enhancing mucosal integrity.

      Ukena, Sya N; Singh, Anurag; Dringenberg, Ulrike; Engelhardt, Regina; Seidler, Ursula; Hansen, Wiebke; Bleich, André; Bruder, Dunja; Franzke, Anke; Rogler, Gerhard; et al. (2007)
      BACKGROUND: Probiotics are proposed to positively modulate the intestinal epithelial barrier formed by intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and intercellular junctions. Disruption of this border alters paracellular permeability and is a key mechanism for the development of enteric infections and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To study the in vivo effect of probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) on the stabilization of the intestinal barrier under healthy conditions, germfree mice were colonized with EcN or K12 E. coli strain MG1655. IECs were isolated and analyzed for gene and protein expression of the tight junction molecules ZO-1 and ZO-2. Then, in order to analyze beneficial effects of EcN under inflammatory conditions, the probiotic was orally administered to BALB/c mice with acute dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) induced colitis. Colonization of gnotobiotic mice with EcN resulted in an up-regulation of ZO-1 in IECs at both mRNA and protein levels. EcN administration to DSS-treated mice reduced the loss of body weight and colon shortening. In addition, infiltration of the colon with leukocytes was ameliorated in EcN inoculated mice. Acute DSS colitis did not result in an anion secretory defect, but abrogated the sodium absorptive function of the mucosa. Additionally, intestinal barrier function was severely affected as evidenced by a strong increase in the mucosal uptake of Evans blue in vivo. Concomitant administration of EcN to DSS treated animals resulted in a significant protection against intestinal barrier dysfunction and IECs isolated from these mice exhibited a more pronounced expression of ZO-1. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: This study convincingly demonstrates that probiotic EcN is able to mediate up-regulation of ZO-1 expression in murine IECs and confer protection from the DSS colitis-associated increase in mucosal permeability to luminal substances.
    • Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium exploits inflammation to compete with the intestinal microbiota.

      Stecher, Bärbel; Robbiani, Riccardo; Walker, Alan W; Westendorf, Astrid M; Barthel, Manja; Kremer, Marcus; Chaffron, Samuel; Macpherson, Andrew J; Buer, Jan; Parkhill, Julian; et al. (2007-10)
      Most mucosal surfaces of the mammalian body are colonized by microbial communities ("microbiota"). A high density of commensal microbiota inhabits the intestine and shields from infection ("colonization resistance"). The virulence strategies allowing enteropathogenic bacteria to successfully compete with the microbiota and overcome colonization resistance are poorly understood. Here, we investigated manipulation of the intestinal microbiota by the enteropathogenic bacterium Salmonella enterica subspecies 1 serovar Typhimurium (S. Tm) in a mouse colitis model: we found that inflammatory host responses induced by S. Tm changed microbiota composition and suppressed its growth. In contrast to wild-type S. Tm, an avirulent invGsseD mutant failing to trigger colitis was outcompeted by the microbiota. This competitive defect was reverted if inflammation was provided concomitantly by mixed infection with wild-type S. Tm or in mice (IL10(-/-), VILLIN-HA(CL4-CD8)) with inflammatory bowel disease. Thus, inflammation is necessary and sufficient for overcoming colonization resistance. This reveals a new concept in infectious disease: in contrast to current thinking, inflammation is not always detrimental for the pathogen. Triggering the host's immune defence can shift the balance between the protective microbiota and the pathogen in favour of the pathogen.