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Improvement of Gut Microbiota by Inhibition of P38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) Signaling Pathway in Rats with Severe Acute Pancreatitis

You-Dong Wan, Rui-Xue Zhu, Zhong-Zheng Bian, Xin-Ting Pan

(Department of Emergency Intensive Care, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:4609-4616

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.914538


BACKGROUND: Gut microbiota dysbiosis plays a key role in pathogenesis of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). In this study, we explored the protective effects of the p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, against gut inflammation and microbiota dysbiosis induced by pancreatic duct injection with 3.5% sodium taurocholate in an SAP rat model.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ninety male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to sham-operated, SAP model, and SAP plus SB203580 groups (n=30/group). Histological examination was conducted to assess gut and pancreatitis injury. The levels of amylase, D-lactate, diamine oxidase, tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-6, IL-1ß, and phospho-p38MAPK in the plasma and intestine were evaluated at 3, 6, or 12 h after SAP induction. The gut microbiome was investigated based on16S rDNA gene sequencing at 12 h after SAP induction.
RESULTS: Histological examination revealed edema and inflammatory infiltrations in the pancreas and distal ileum. The expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1ß, and IL-6 in plasma and distal ileum was increased in the SAP group, which were restored after treatment with SB203580. Significantly lower bacterial diversity and richness was found in the SAP group. In the SAP group, the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes was decreased, and there was a higher proportion of Proteobacteria at the phylum level. The SAP plus SB203580 group exhibited significantly less damage to the gut microbiota, with higher bacterial diversity and a more normal proportion of intestinal microbiota.
CONCLUSIONS: SB203580 mediated suppression of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway via reduced gut inflammatory response and microbiota dysbiosis.

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