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Mol Biol Rep. 2010 Jul;37(6):2989-99. doi: 10.1007/s11033-009-9866-y. Epub 2009 Oct 9.

Effects of oral Lactobacillus plantarum on hepatocyte tight junction structure and function in rats with obstructive jaundice.

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Department of Surgery, The Sixth People's Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, 600 Yishan Road, 200233 Shanghai, China.


Surgery and infection are prominent risk factors for the development of obstructive cholestasis which in turn is associated with failure of the liver barrier. We studied the effects of oral Lactobacillus plantarum (LP) supplementation on endotoxemia, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and tight junctions of hepatocytes in an experimental model of obstructive jaundice. Fifty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups of 10 each: group I, sham-operated; group II, ligation and division of the common bile duct (BDL); group III, BLD followed by oral LP treatment; group IV, BDL followed by internal biliary drainage (IBD); group V, BDL followed by IBD and oral LP treatment. Hepatocyte apoptosis, plasma reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) levels, and portal blood endotoxin levels were measured and changes in tight junction-associated proteins occludin, claudin-1, claudin-4, and ZO-1 were observed. Compared to the sham-operated group I, significant increases in endotoxemia, apoptosis, and GSSG were observed in group II and significant decreases were observed in group V. Tight junctions were destroyed in group II animals but were not in animals treated with oral LP (groups III and V). An increase in occludin, claudin-1, claudin-4, and ZO-1 mRNA and protein levels were detected in livers in LP-treated animals (group V) compared with group II levels. Oral LP treatment of rats with obstructive jaundice assisted in the return of active hepatic barrier function. These results may lead to treatments to prevent the deleterious effects of obstructive jaundice.

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