Oral ingestion of streptococcus thermophilus diminishes severity of small intestinal mucositis in methotrexate treated rats.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2006 Jun;5(6):593-600. Epub 2006 Jun 5. PMID: 16627985
Centre for Paediatric and Adolescent Gastroenterology, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, North Adelaide, South Australia.
BACKGROUND: Currently, there are no available effective preventative or adjunctive agents to alleviate symptoms of chemotherapy-induced mucositis. This is compounded by the absence of a recognized and validated noninvasive biomarker to assess gut function. This study investigated the effects of orally ingested Streptococcus thermophilus (TH-4) on chemotherapy-induced small intestinal damage in rats using the noninvasive (13)C-sucrose breath test (SBT). METHODS: Gastrointestinal damage was induced in 27 female dark agouti rats (148 +/- 1g) with MTX (1.5 mg/kg; i.m.). Rats received MTX or saline at 0 h; with daily treatment of: TH-4 at doses of 10(9) (high), 10(8) (low) cfu/mL, or skim milk (vehicle), 48 h pre and 96 h post-MTX. The noninvasive (13)C-sucrose breath test (SBT) was conducted at -24, 24 and 96 h post-MTX to monitor gut function. At sacrifice, small intestinal tissues were collected for determinations of sucrase activity, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and histological assessment. RESULTS: MTX + vehicle and MTX + low TH-4-treated rats produced significantly lower SBT and sucrase activity results compared to saline controls (p<0.001). In contrast, MTX + high TH-4 treatment showed no significant differences in the SBT compared to saline controls, and the SBT results were significantly higher compared to MTX + vehicle and MTX + low TH-4 (p<0.05). MPO levels were significantly elevated (p<0.05) in MTX + vehicle and MTX + low TH-4, but not following MTX + high TH-4 treatment, compared to saline controls. This was further confirmed by histological analyses. CONCLUSION: Oral ingestion of TH-4 at 10(9) cfu/mL is capable of partially attenuating small bowel damage in rats. The noninvasive SBT is a useful technique to longitudinally assess the efficacy of treatments or interventions for small bowel disease.