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Current Nutrition & Food Science


ISSN (Print): 1573-4013
ISSN (Online): 2212-3881

Research Article

Barrier Strengthening and Anti-inflammatory Effect of Cucurbit Fruits on Intestinal Epithelial Cells In-vitro

Author(s): Sonal Chauhan, Dhara Sharma and Harish Chandra Goel*

Volume 14 , Issue 2 , 2018

Page: [143 - 153] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1573401313666170427123153

Price: $65


Background: Acute and chronic infections and inflammations in the gut are highly prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries. Therapeutic measures like Non-Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) often manifest toxic effects.

Objective: Some herbal agents (cucurbit fruits) were investigated in-vitro for gut-barrier reinforcement and anti-inflammatory action.

Methods: Zonula Occludens (ZO-1), mucin (MUC-2), cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2) expressions were estimated through ELISA kits. Nitric oxide (NO) was estimated through Griess reaction and adhesion of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (Lrh) to epithelial cells was evaluated microscopically.

Results: TNF-α (10 ng/mL) induced inflammatory reaction in epithelial cells (HT-29 and Caco-2) by decreasing ZO-1 proteins. Cells pretreated with cucurbits, when challenged by TNF-α, countered the reduction of ZO-1 proteins, but pretreatment with indomethacin (NSAID) decreased the expression of ZO-1 further. Addition of Lrh to HT-29 cultures, enhanced mucin (MUC-2) production. Cucurbits alone did not enhance MUC-2 production in HT-29 cells but the addition of cucurbits to the combination of Lrh + HT-29 cells significantly increased MUC-2 production and adhesion of Lrh to epithelial cells.

TNF-α and LPS treatment to Caco-2 cells increased COX-2 and NO production, but pretreatment with either cucurbits or indomethacin rendered their decrease. Pretreatment with indomethacin decreased COX-1 production in Caco-2 cells but pretreatment with cucurbits yielded enhanced COX-1 expression.

Conclusion: This study revealed the potential of cucurbits as non-toxic anti-inflammatory and barrier strengthening agents against gut ailments.

Keywords: Tight-junction, mucin, adhesion, inflammation, cyclooxygenases, cucurbit, lactobacillus.

Graphical Abstract

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