Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(14):3050-3058. doi:10.7150/ijms.45980

Research Paper

Altered intestinal microflora and barrier injury in severe acute pancreatitis can be changed by zinc

Shi-yue Su1, Qin-qing Tang2✉

1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, No.218 Jixi Road, Hefei 230022, Anhui, China.
2. Department of General Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, No.218 Jixi Road, Hefei 230022, Anhui, China.

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Citation:
Su Sy, Tang Qq. Altered intestinal microflora and barrier injury in severe acute pancreatitis can be changed by zinc. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(14):3050-3058. doi:10.7150/ijms.45980. Available from https://www.medsci.org/v18p3050.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

To investigate the effect of zinc (Zn) supplementation on intestinal microflora changes and bacterial translocation in rats with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP), the rats were divided into the sham surgery (SS), SAP, SS + Zn, and SAP + Zn groups. Saline (0.1 mL/100g) and 5% sodium taurocholate were injected into the pancreaticobiliary duct of the rats in the SS and SAP + Zn groups, respectively. Intraperitoneal injection of 5 mg/kg Zn was performed immediately after injecting saline or 5% sodium taurocholate into the rats in both groups. Serum amylase and Zn levels, plasma endogenous endotoxin, intestinal permeability, and the positive rate of intestinal bacterial translocation were detected, haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was performed, and the pancreatic tissue scores were calculated for each group. In addition, immunohistochemical (IHC) staining was performed to evaluate the expression of IL-1β and TNF-α. Real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR was used to quantify the gene copy numbers of Escherichia, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus in the cecum. The levels of amylase and plasma endotoxin in the SAP group were significantly higher than those in the SS and SS + Zn groups. Intestinal mucosal permeability and intestinal bacterial translocation in the liver, pancreas, and mesenteric lymph nodes were increased in the SAP group. However, the levels of amylase and plasma endotoxin were decreased as a result of zinc supplementation in the SAP group. The expression of IL-1β and TNF-α was also reduced to a greater degree in the SAP + Zn group than in the SAP group. Moreover, alleviated intestinal mucosal permeability and intestinal bacterial translocation in the liver, pancreas, and mesenteric lymph nodes were found in the SAP + Zn group. The results of real-time quantitative PCR showed that the gene copy number of Escherichia increased with time, and the gene copy numbers of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium decreased over time. Zn supplementation prevented the release of TNF-α and IL-1β, alleviated intestinal permeability and endotoxemia, reduced bacterial translocation, and inhibited changes in pathogenic intestinal flora in rats with SAP.

Keywords: Endotoxin, IL-1β, intestinal microflora, pancreatitis, TNF-α, zinc