Pomegranate seed oil reduces intestinal damage in a rat model of necrotizing enterocolitis.

Coursodon-Boyiddle CF, Snarrenberg CL, Adkins-Rieck CK, Bassaganya-Riera J, Hontecillas R, Lawrence P, Brenna JT, Jouni ZE, Dvorak B
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 303 (6): G744-51

PMID: 22821948 · PMCID: PMC3468537 · DOI:10.1152/ajpgi.00248.2012

Pomegranate seed oil (PSO), which is the major source of conjugated linolenic acids such as punicic acid (PuA), exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating disease associated with severe and excessive intestinal inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of orally administered PSO on the development of NEC, intestinal epithelial proliferation, and cytokine regulation in a rat model of NEC. Premature rats were divided into three groups: dam fed (DF), formula-fed rats (FF), or rats fed with formula supplemented with 1.5% of PSO (FF + PSO). All groups were exposed to asphyxia/cold stress to induce NEC. Intestinal injury, epithelial cell proliferation, cytokine production, and trefoil factor 3 (Tff3) production were evaluated in the terminal ileum. Oral administration of PSO (FF+PSO) decreased the incidence of NEC from 61 to 26%. Feeding formula with PSO improved enterocyte proliferation in the site of injury. Increased levels of proinflammatory IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-23, and TNF-α in the ileum of FF rats were normalized in PSO-treated animals. Tff3 production in the FF rats was reduced compared with DF but not further affected by the PSO. In conclusion, administration of PSO protects against NEC in the neonatal rat model. This protective effect is associated with an improvement of intestinal epithelial homeostasis and a strong anti-inflammatory effect of PSO on the developing intestinal mucosa.

MeSH Terms (19)

Animals Animals, Newborn Diet Enterocolitis, Necrotizing Female Gene Expression Regulation Ileum Lipids Mucin-2 Neuropeptides Plant Oils Pregnancy Punicaceae Rats Rats, Sprague-Dawley Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction RNA Seeds Trefoil Factor-3

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