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A β-Glucan-Based Dietary Fiber Reduces Mast Cell-Induced Hyperpermeability in Ileum From Patients With Crohn’s Disease and Control Subjects

University of Örebro, Sweden

Ganda Mall J-P, Casado-Bedmar M, Winberg ME, Brummer RJ, Schoultz I, Keita ÅV.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 24:166–78.


Background: Administration of β-glucan has shown immune-enhancing effects. Our aim was to investigate whether β-glucan could attenuate mast cell (MC)-induced hyperpermeability in follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) and villus epithelium (VE) of patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and in noninflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-controls. Further, we studied mechanisms of β-glucan uptake and effects on MCs in vitro.

Methods: Segments of FAE and VE from 8 CD patients and 9 controls were mounted in Ussing chambers. Effects of the MC-degranulator compound 48/80 (C48/80) and yeast-derived β-1,3/1,6 glucan on hyperpermeability were investigated. Translocation of β-glucan and colocalization with immune cells were studied by immunofluorescence. Caco-2-cl1- and FAE-cultures were used to investigate β-glucan-uptake using endocytosis inhibitors and HMC-1.1 to study effects on MCs.

Results: β-glucan significantly attenuated MC-induced paracellular hyperpermeability in CD and controls. Transcellular hyperpermeability was only significantly attenuated in VE. Baseline paracellular permeability was higher in FAE than VE in both groups, P<0.05, and exhibited a more pronounced effect by C48/80 and β-glucan P<0.05. No difference was observed between CD and controls. In vitro studies showed increased passage, P<0.05, of β-glucan through FAE-culture compared to Caco-2-cl1. Passage was mildly attenuated by the inhibitor methyl-β-cyclodextrin. HMC-1.1 experiments showed a trend to decreasing MC-degranulation and levels of TNF-α but not IL-6 by β-glucan. Immunofluorescence revealed more β-glucan-uptake and higher percentage of macrophages and dendritic cells close to β-glucan in VE of CD compared to controls.

Conclusions: We demonstrated beneficial effects of β-glucan on intestinal barrier function and increased β-glucan-passage through FAE model. Our results provide important and novel knowledge on possible applications of β-glucan in health disorders and diseases characterized by intestinal barrier dysfunction.

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