Wild jujube polysaccharides protect against experimental inflammatory bowel disease by enabling enhanced intestinal barrier function
Dietary polysaccharides provide various beneficial effects for our health. We investigated the protective effects of wild jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill. var. spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex H. F. Chou) sarcocarp polysaccharides (WJPs) against experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by enabling enhanced intestinal barrier function. Colitis was induced in rats by the intrarectal administration of TNBS. We found that WJPs markedly ameliorated the colitis severity, including less weight loss, decreased disease activity index scores, and improved mucosal damage in colitis rats. Moreover, WJPs suppressed the inflammatory response via attenuation of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and MPO activity in colitis rats. And then, to determine the effect of WJPs on the intestinal barrier, we measured the effect of WJPs on the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and FITC-conjugated dextran permeability in Caco-2 cell stimulation with TNF-α. We further demonstrated that the alleviation of WJPs to colon injury was associated with barrier function by assembly of tight junction proteins. Moreover, the effect of WJPs on TER was eliminated by the specific inhibitor of AMPK. AMPK activity was also up-regulated by WJPs in Caco-2 cell stimulation with TNF-α and in colitis rats. This study demonstrates that WJPs protect against IBD by enabling enhanced intestinal barrier function involving the activation of AMPK.