European journal of nutrition

Characterizing microbiota-independent effects of oligosaccharides on intestinal epithelial cells: insight into the role of structure and size : Structure-activity relationships of non-digestible oligosaccharides.

PMID 27295033


The direct effects of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), including Vivinal® GOS syrup (VGOS) and purified Vivinal® GOS (PGOS), on the epithelial integrity and corresponding interleukin-8 (IL-8/CXCL8) release were examined in a Caco-2 cell model for intestinal barrier dysfunction. To investigate structure-activity relationships, the effects of individual DP fractions of VGOS were evaluated. Moreover, the obtained results with GOS were compared with Caco-2 monolayers incubated with fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin. Caco-2 monolayers were pretreated (24 h) with or without specific oligosaccharides or DP fractions of VGOS (DP2 to DP6) before being exposed for 12 or 24 h to the fungal toxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Transepithelial electrical resistance and lucifer yellow permeability were measured to investigate barrier integrity. A calcium switch assay was used to study the reassembly of tight junction proteins. Release of CXCL8, a typical marker for inflammation, was quantified by ELISA. In comparison with PGOS, FOS and inulin, VGOS showed the most pronounced protective effect on the DON-induced impairment of the monolayer integrity, acceleration of the tight junction reassembly and the subsequent CXCL8 release. DP2 and DP3 in concentrations occurring in VGOS prevented the DON-induced epithelial barrier disruption, which could be related to their high prevalence in VGOS. However, no effects of the separate DP GOS fractions were observed on CXCL8 release. This comparative study demonstrates the direct, microbiota-independent effects of oligosaccharides on the intestinal barrier function and shows the differences between individual galacto- and fructo-oligosaccharides. This microbiota-independent effect of oligosaccharides depends on the oligosaccharide structure, DP length and concentration.