Probiotics modify tight junction proteins in an animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Briskey, David, Heritage, Mandy, Jaskowski, Lesley-Anne, Peake, Jonathan, Gobe, Glenda, Subramaniam, V. Nathan, Crawford, Darrell, Campbell, Catherine, & Vitetta, Luis (2016) Probiotics modify tight junction proteins in an animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, 9(4), pp. 463-472.

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  • We have investigated the effects of a multi–species probiotic preparation containing a combination of probiotic bacterial genera that included Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli and a Streptococcus in a mouse model of high fat diet/obesity induced liver steatosis.


  • Three groups of C57B1/6J mice were fed either a standard chow or a high fat diet for 20 weeks, while a third group was fed a high fat diet for 10 weeks and then concomitantly administered probiotics for a further 10 weeks. Serum, liver and large bowel samples were collected for analysis.


  • The expression of the tight junction proteins ZO-1 and ZO-2 was reduced (p < 0.05) in high fat diet fed mice compared to chow fed mice. Probiotic supplementation helped to maintain tight ZO-1 and ZO-2 expression compared with the high fat diet group (p < 0.05), but did not restore ZO-1 or ZO-2 expression compared with chow fed mice. Mice fed a high fat diet ± probiotics had significant steatosis development compared to chow fed mice (p < 0.05); steatosis was less severe in the probiotics group compared to the high fat diet group. Hepatic triglycerides concentration was higher in mice fed a high fat diet ± probiotics compared to the chow group (p < 0.05), and was lower in the probiotics group compared to the high fat diet group (p < 0.05). Compared to chow fed mice, serum glucose and cholesterol concentrations, and the activity of alanine transaminase were higher (p < 0.05), whereas serum triglyceride concentration was lower (p < 0.05) in mice fed a high fat diet ± probiotics.


  • Supplementation with a multi-species probiotic formulation helped to maintain tight junction proteins ZO-1 and ZO-2, and reduced hepatic triglyceride concentrations compared with a HFD alone.

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ID Code: 94458
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: probiotics, nutrition, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolism, inflammation
DOI: 10.1177/1756283X16645055
ISSN: 1756-2848
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 SAGE Publications
Deposited On: 05 Apr 2016 23:53
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 23:43

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