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Ameliorative effects of L-theanine on dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis.


Food Res Int. 2020 11 ;137:109409. Epub 2020 Jun 9. PMID: 33233096

Abstract Title: 

Ameliorative effects of L-theanine on dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis in C57BL/6J mice are associated with the inhibition of inflammatory responses and attenuation of intestinal barrier disruption.


This study investigated the effects of L-theanine supplementation on the colonic mucosa injury in C57BL/6J male mice treated with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. Treatment with L-theanine significantly decreased the disease activity index and ameliorated the inflammation-associated pathological damage in colon length, as well as the histopathological features of DSS-induced colitis. L-Theanine administration also inhibited DSS-induced changes in the colonic tissue that included myeloperoxidase by 4.5-fold and malondialdehyde by 2.3-fold in comparison to the DSS group. In addition, GSH was increased by 85% and lipopolysaccharides level was decreased by 55% in comparison to the DSS group. Proinflammatory cytokines expression, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, at the both protein and mRNA levels were also decreased significantly. Notably, the increase in serum content of lipopolysaccharides and colonic expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, toll like receptor (TLR)-2, TLR-4, TLR-6, and TLR-9 induced by DSS were also significantly inhibited by L-theanine administration. In addition, L-theanine also attenuated the reduction of serum contents of diamine oxidase and the production of short-chain fatty acids in the colonic tissue, and gene expression of mucosal barrier zonula occludens-1and claudin-1 in DSS-induced colitis. Furthermore, 16S rRNA phylogenetic sequencing revealed a shift in microbial community composition induced by DSS, but no significant difference was observed following L-theanine supplementation. Overall, our findings demonstrated that L-theanine inhibits intestinal inflammation and protects against intestinal barrier disruption in mice with DSS-induced colitis. Further clinical trials should be considered to assess the effects of L-theanine supplementation on oxidative and inflammatory responses in humans.

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