Background: Lauric acid (LA) has antimicrobial effects and the potential to replace antibiotics in feeds to prevent postweaning diarrhea and increase overall swine productivity. The effects of lauric acid on the intestinal epithelial cells remain unclear.
Materials and Methods: This study investigates the effects of LA on pig intestinal epithelial cell line (IPEC-J2) differentiation, proliferation, and death and explores its underlying mechanisms. It was found that 0.25-0.1 mM LA promoted the IPEC-J2 cell differentiation. At 1 mM or higher concentrations, it induced IPEC-J2 cell viability decreases, lipid accumulation, cell proliferation inhibition, and cell apoptosis. The cell death induced did not depended on caspase pathways.
Results: The data demonstrated that LA induced the IPEC-J2 cell autophagy and impaired autophagy flux. And autophagy plays a role in protecting against LA induced-cell death. p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190 attenuated LA-reduced IPEC-J2 cell viability. This associated with an increase autophagy level and decrease in lipid accumulations and FABPI levels.
Conclusion: In summary, LA promoted the IPEC-J2 cell apoptosis depended on the p38 MAPK pathways and may involve autophagy and TG metabolism regulation.