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Open AccessArticle

Probiotics Upregulate Trefoil Factors and Downregulate Pepsinogen in the Mouse Stomach

Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceuticals Technology, College of Pharmacy, Sharjah Institute for Medical Research, University of Sharjah, Sharjah 27272, UAE
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, AlAin 17666, UAE
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Beirut Arab University, Debbieh Campus PO Box 11-50-20 Riad El Solh, Beirut 11072809, Lebanon
Department of Biology, College of Science, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain 15551, UAE
Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), U1258, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR7104, Université de Strasbourg, F-67404 Illkirch, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3901;
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TFF Peptides: Lectins in Mucosal Protection and More)
PDF [5372 KB, uploaded 10 August 2019]


Probiotics are used in the management of some gastrointestinal diseases. However, little is known about their effects on normal gastric epithelial biology. The aim of this study was to explore how the probiotic mixture VSL#3 affects gastric cell lineages in mice with a special focus on protective and aggressive factors. Weight-matching littermate male mice (n = 14) were divided into treated and control pairs. The treated mice received VSL#3 (5 mg/day/mouse) by gastric gavage for 10 days. Control mice received only the vehicle. Food consumption and bodyweight were monitored. All mice were injected intraperitoneally with bromodeoxyuridine (120 mg/Kg bodyweight) two hours before sacrificed to label S-phase cells. Stomach tissues were processed for lectin- and immunohistochemical examination. ImageJ software was used to quantify immunolabeled gastric epithelial cells. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to provide relative changes in expression of gastric cell lineages specific genes. Results revealed that treated mice acquired (i) increased production of mucus, trefoil factor (TFF) 1 and TFF2, (ii) decreased production of pepsinogen, and (iii) increased ghrelin-secreting cells. No significant changes were observed in bodyweight, food consumption, cell proliferation, or parietal cells. Therefore, VSL#3 administration amplifies specific cell types specialized in the protection of the gastric epithelium. View Full-Text
Keywords: probiotics; VSL#3; trefoil factor; mucin; ghrelin; pepsinogen; gastric epithelium probiotics; VSL#3; trefoil factor; mucin; ghrelin; pepsinogen; gastric epithelium

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Khoder, G.; Al-Yassir, F.; Al Menhali, A.; Saseedharan, P.; Sugathan, S.; Tomasetto, C.; Karam, S.M. Probiotics Upregulate Trefoil Factors and Downregulate Pepsinogen in the Mouse Stomach. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3901.

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