Yoghurts Containing Probiotics Reduce Disruption of the Small Intestinal Barrier in Methotrexate-Treated Rats

  • E. Southcott
  • K. L. Tooley
  • G. S. Howarth
  • G. P. Davidson
  • R. N. Butler
Original Paper


Small intestinal permeability was employed to assess the efficacy of commercially available yoghurts containing probiotics in a rat model of methotrexate (MTX)-induced mucositis. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were allocated to four groups (n = 8): MTX + water, MTX + cow’s milk yoghurt (CY; fermented with Lactobacillus johnsonii), MTX + sheep’s milk yoghurt (SY; containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus), and saline. Treatment gavage occurred twice daily for 7 days pre-MTX and 5 days post-MTX. Intestinal permeability was assessed on days −7, −1, 2, and 5 of the trial. Intestinal sections were collected at sacrifice for histological and biochemical analyses. Histology revealed that rats receiving CY and SY did not have a significantly damaged duodenum compared to controls. However, an improved small intestinal barrier function was evident, determined by a decreased lactulose/mannitol ratio. Probiotics containing SY and CY may be useful in preventing disruption to intestinal barrier function in MTX-induced mucositis.


Methotrexate Mucositis Small intestine Permeability Barrier function Probiotics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Southcott
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. L. Tooley
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. S. Howarth
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • G. P. Davidson
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. N. Butler
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Paediatric and Adolescent GastroenterologyWomen’s and Children’s Hospital, Children, Youth and Women’s Health ServiceNorth AdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Discipline of PhysiologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Discipline of PaediatricsUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.School of Pharmacy and Medical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.School of Biological SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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