Fish Oil Enhances Intestinal Barrier Function

Scientists conclude that stress causes damage in intestinal barrier function within piglets. Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids exhibit possible immunomodulatory and barrier-protective effects in clinical trials and in animal models.  Scientists theorized that fish oil (FO) could indeed affect intestinal barrier function along with and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and corticotropin releasing hormone receptor (CRHR) pathways. The experiment looked like this:

  • 32 weaned pigs assigned to one of a total of four treatments
  • The experiment comprised of a 2×2 factorial design

Main factors comprised immunological challenge to include: Saline or LPS (lipopolysaccharide). Diet (5 percent maize oil or 5 percent FOl)

On trial day 19, scientists treated the piglets with either saline or LPS. Four hours after the injection was administered, the piglets were killed and the following samples collected:

  • Mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN)
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Intestinal samples

The conclusion: FO lessened the microbial translocation occurrence and amount of trans-located microorganisms in the mesenteric lymph nodes. FO increased duodenal claudin-1 protein relative concentration plus villus height. FO also improved the duodenal morphology. Moreover, FO supplementation increased the intestinal intraepithelial lymphocyte amount and stopped elevations in intestinal mast cell (MCs) and neutrophils numbers produced by lipopolysaccharide challenge. Furthermore, FO tended to reduce the mRNA expression of intestinal CRHR1/CRH and glucocorticoid receptors. These results imply that FO supplementation enhances intestinal barrier function overall while inhibits CRH/CRHR1 signaling pathway in addition to mast cell tissue density.


Fish oil enhances intestinal barrier function and inhibits corticotropin-releasing hormone/corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 signalling pathway in weaned pigs after lipopolysaccharide challenge.

Zhu H, Liu Y, Chen S, Wang X, Pi D, Leng W, Chen F, Zhang J, Kang P

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