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Amino Acids. 2013 Sep;45(3):513-22. doi: 10.1007/s00726-012-1295-x. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

N-acetylcysteine reduces inflammation in the small intestine by regulating redox, EGF and TLR4 signaling.

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Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University, 430023, Wuhan, China.


This study determined whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC) could affect intestinal redox status, proinflammatory cytokines, epidermal growth factor (EGF), EGF receptor (EGFR), Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4), and aquaporin-8 in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged piglet model. Eighteen piglets (35-day-old) were randomly allocated into one of the three treatments (control, LPS and NAC). The control and LPS groups were fed a basal diet, and the NAC group received the basal diet +500 mg/kg NAC. On days 10, 13, and 20 of the trial, the LPS- and NAC-treated piglets received intraperitoneal administration of LPS (100 μg/kg BW), whereas the control group received the same volume of saline. On days 10 and 20, venous blood samples were obtained at 3 h post LPS or saline injection. On day 21 of the trial, piglets were killed to obtain the intestinal mucosa for analysis. Compared with the control group, LPS challenge reduced (P < 0.05) the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in jejunal mucosae, while increasing (P < 0.05) the concentrations of malondialdehyde, H2O2, O2 (·-) and the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione in jejunal mucosae, and concentrations of TNF-α, cortisol, interleukin-6, and prostaglandin E2 in both plasma and intestinal mucosae. These adverse effects of LPS were attenuated (P < 0.05) by NAC supplementation. Moreover, NAC prevented LPS-induced increases in abundances of intestinal HSP70 and NF-κB p65 proteins and TLR4 mRNA. NAC supplementation enhanced plasma EGF concentration and intestinal EGFR mRNA levels. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary NAC supplementation alleviates LPS-induced intestinal inflammation via regulating redox, EGF, and TLR4 signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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