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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;42(6):2330-2341. doi: 10.1159/000480005. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Bifidobacterium Infantis Ameliorates Chemotherapy-Induced Intestinal Mucositis Via Regulating T Cell Immunity in Colorectal Cancer Rats.

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Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.



Intestinal mucositis (IM) is a commonly encountered side effect in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis) in attenuating the severity of chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis by regulating the T cell subsets in rats with colorectal cancer (CRC).


Thirty male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were injected dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) subcutaneously for 10 weeks, and then injected SW480 cells in rectal mucosa to create a CRC model, and the rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control group (saline + saline), Chemotherapy group (saline + 5-FU+Oxaliplatin), B. infantis group (B. infantis + 5-FU+Oxaliplatin). IM was evaluated based on diarrhea severity, intestinal villus height, crypt depth, pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α), T cell subsets (CD4+ IL17A+ cells and CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs) and related cytokine profiles.


The results showed that the B. infantis group demonstrated a higher body weight (BW) and intestinal villus height and a deeper crypt depth compared to the Chemotherapy group. The level of IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α which increased by chemotherapy, was lowered by B. infantis administration. Real time reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed B. infantis reduced relative expression of Th17 and Th1 cells related cytokines, and increased relative expression of CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs related cytokines. Furthermore, Flow cytometry analysis showed B. infantis reduced CD4+ IL17A+ cells and increased CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) compared to the Chemotherapy group.


B. infantis effectively attenuates chemotherapy-induced intestinal mucositis by decreasing Th1 and Th17 response and increasing CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs response.


5-fluorouracil; Bifidobacterium infantis; CD4+CD17A+ cells; CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs; Colorectal cancer; Intestinal mucositis; Oxaliplatin

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