Beyond heat stress: Intestinal integrity disruption and mechanism-based intervention strategies

Puqiao Lian, Saskia Braber*, Johan Garssen, Harry J. Wichers, Gert Folkerts, Johanna Fink-Gremmels, Soheil Varasteh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The current climate changes have increased the prevalence and intensity of heat stress (HS) conditions. One of the initial consequences of HS is the impairment of the intestinal epithelial barrier integrity due to hyperthermia and hypoxia following blood repartition, which often results in a leaky gut followed by penetration and transfer of luminal antigens, endotoxins, and pathogenic bacteria. Under extreme conditions, HS may culminate in the onset of “heat stroke”, a potential lethal condition if remaining untreated. HS-induced alterations of the gastrointestinal epithelium, which is associated with a leaky gut, are due to cellular oxidative stress, disruption of intestinal integrity, and increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This review summarizes the possible resilience mechanisms based on in vitro and in vivo data and the potential interventions with a group of nutritional supplements, which may increase the resilience to HS-induced intestinal integrity disruption and maintain intestinal homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number734
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Heat stress (HS)
  • Intestinal integrity
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Resilience pathways

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