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World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Nov 21;17(43):4810-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i43.4810.

Schistosoma japonicum ova maintains epithelial barrier function during experimental colitis.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.



To evaluate the impacts of Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum) ova on the tight junction barriers in a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis model.


Balb/c mice were randomly divided into three groups: control group; TNBS(+)ova(-) group and TNBS(+)ova(+) group. TNBS was used intracolonic to induce colitis and mice of the TNBS(+)ova(+) group were pre-exposed to S. japonicum ova as a prophylactic intervention. Colon inflammation was quantified using following variables: mouse mortality, weight loss, colon extent and microscopic inflammation score. Serum expression of tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ were assessed to evaluate the systemic inflammatory response. NOD2 and its mRNA were also tested. Bacterial translocations were tested by culturing blood and several tissues. ZO-1 and occludin were chosen as the representations of tight junction proteins. Both the proteins and mRNA were assessed.


Ova pre-treatment contributed to the relief of colitis and decreased the mortality of the models. NOD2 expression was significantly downregulated when pretreated with the ova. The TNBS injection caused a significant downregulation of ZO-1 and occludin mRNA together with their proteins in the colon; ova pre-exposure reversed these alterations. Treatment with S. japonicum ova in the colitis model caused lower intestinal bacterial translocation frequency.


S. japonicum ova can maintain epithelial barrier function through increasing tight junction proteins, thus causing less exposure of NOD2 to the luminal antigens which may activate a series of inflammatory factors and induce colitis.


Crohn’s disease; Occludin; Schistosoma japonicum ova; Tight junction protein; ZO-1

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