The effects of sulfated secondary bile acids on intestinal barrier function and immune response in an inflammatory in vitro human intestinal model

Benthe van der Lugt*, Maartje C.P. Vos, Mechteld Grootte Bromhaar, Noortje IJssennagger, Frank Vrieling, Jocelijn Meijerink, Wilma T. Steegenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Dysbiosis-related perturbations in bile acid (BA) metabolism were observed in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, which was characterized by increased levels of sulfated BAs at the expense of secondary BAs. However, the exact effects of sulfated BAs on the etiology of IBD are not investigated yet. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of sulfated deoxycholic acid (DCA), sulfated lithocholic acid (LCA) and their unsulfated forms on intestinal barrier function and immune response. To this end, we first established a novel in vitro human intestinal model to mimic chronic intestinal inflammation as seen during IBD. This model consisted of a co-culture of Caco-2 and HT29-MTX-E12 cells grown on a semi-wet interface with mechanical stimulation to represent the mucus layer. A pro-inflammatory environment was created by combining the co-culture with LPS-activated dendritic cells (DCs) in the basolateral compartment. The presence of activated DCs caused a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), which was slightly restored by LCA and sulfated DCA. The expression of genes related to intestinal epithelial integrity and the mucus layer were slightly, but not significantly increased. These results imply that sulfated BAs have a minor effect on intestinal barrier function in Caco-2 and HT29-MTX-E12 cells. When exposed directly to DCs, our results point towards anti-inflammatory effects of secondary BAs, but to a minor extent for sulfated secondary BAs. Future research should focus on the importance of proper transformation of BAs by bacterial enzymes and the potential involvement of BA dysmetabolism in IBD progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere08883
JournalHeliyon
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal barrier function
  • Mucus layer
  • Secondary bile acids
  • Sulfation

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