Manipulation of intestinal dysbiosis by a bacterial mixture ameliorates loperamide-induced constipation in rats

Deng, Y; Li, M; Mei, L; Cong, LM; Liu, Y; Zhang, BB; He, CY; Zheng, PY; Yuan, JL

Yuan, JL (reprint author), Dalian Med Univ, Dept Microecol, Coll Basic Med Sci, Dalian, Peoples R China.; Zheng, PY (reprint author), Zhengzhou Univ, Dept Gastroenterol, Affiliated Hosp 2, Zhengzhou, Henan, Peoples R China.

BENEFICIAL MICROBES, 2018; 9 (3): 453


Constipation has a significant influence on quality of life. Patients with constipation have slow waves in their gastrointestinal smooth muscles and less faecal water contents, which are closely associated with down-regulation of the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the gastrointestinal muscles and the aquaporin protein AQP3 expressed in colon epithelial cells. Recent studies supported that patients with constipation have altered intestinal microbial structures compared with healthy controls. Intestinal dysbiosis might be one possible pathophysiological mechanism causing constipation. Bacterial strains, such as Lactobacillus spp., have shown many beneficial effects on the amelioration of constipation. However, few studies reported the structural changes of intestinal microbiota post-intervention of probiotics. In this study, a bacterial mixture was administrated to rats with loperamide-induced constipation. Effects of the bacterial mixture on small intestine transit (SIT), faecal water content, and the intestinal microbiome in rats were evaluated. Meanwhile, we investigated several factors involved in signalling pathways that regulate function of ICC and expression of AQP3 to discuss the possible underlying molecular mechanisms. Intervention of the bacterial mixture improved SIT and faecal water content in constipated rats. The up-regulation of C-kit/SP signalling pathways in ICC and AQP3 significantly contributed to improvements. These changes were closely associated with the manipulation of intestinal dysbiosis in constipated rats. Furthermore, our results revealed the important role of intestinal microbiota in affecting gut motility through regulation of serotonin biosynthesis. This monoamine neurotransmitter, secreted from enterochromaffin cells, up-regulated both substance P/neurokinin 1 receptors pathway of ICC and the expression of AQP3 in intestinal epithelial cells. Our study suggested that the disrupted microbiome in patients could be a potential therapeutic target for the improvement of constipation.

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