Restraint stress induced gut dysmotility is diminished by a milk oligosaccharide (2′-fucosyllactose) in vitro Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Stress causes severe dysmotility in the mammalian gut. Almost all research done to date has concentrated on prevention of stress-induced altered gut motility but not on treatment. We had previously shown that intraluminal 2'FL could acutely moderate propulsive motility in isolated mouse colonic segments. Because 2'FL appeared to modulate enteric nervous system dependent motility, we wondered if the oligosaccharide could reverse the effects of prior restraint stress, ex vivo. We tested whether 2'FL could benefit the dysmotility of isolated jejunal and colonic segments from animals subjected to prior acute restraint stress. METHODS: Jejunal and colonic segments were obtained from male Swiss Webster mice that were untreated or subjected to 1 hour of acute restraint stress. Segments were perfused with Krebs buffer and propagating contractile clusters (PCC) digitally video recorded. 2'FL or β-lactose were added to the perfusate at a concentration of 1 mg/ml. Spatiotemporal maps were constructed from paired before and after treatment recordings, each consisting of 20 min duration and PCC analyzed for frequency, velocity and amplitude. KEY RESULTS: Stress decreased propulsive motility in murine small intestine while increasing it in the colon. 2'FL in jejunum of previously stressed mice produced a 50% increase in PCC velocity (p = 0.0001), a 43% increase in frequency (p = 0.0002) and an insignificant decrease in peak amplitude. For stressed colon, 2'FL reduced the frequency by 23% (p = 0.017) and peak amplitude by 26% (p = 0.011), and was without effect on velocity. β-lactose had negligible or small treatment effects. CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES: We show that the prebiotic 2'FL may have potential as a treatment for acute stress-induced gut dysmotility, ex vivo, and that, as is the case for certain beneficial microbes, the mechanism occurs in the gut, likely via action on the enteric nervous system.


  • Farhin, Sohana
  • Wong, Annette
  • Delungahawatta, Thilini
  • Amin, Jessica Y
  • Bienenstock, John
  • Buck, Rachael
  • Kunze, Wolfgang

publication date

  • 2019