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As a water-soluble extracellular β-glucan produced by Agrobacterium sp. ZX09, Salecan has an excellent toxicological profile and exerts multiple physiological effects. The aims of the present study were to investigate the protective effects of a Salecan diet in the well-defined dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) model of experimental murine colitis and to elucidate the mechanism involved in its effects with special attention being paid to its effect on the production of TNF-α, a primary mediator involved in the inflammatory response. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a diet supplemented with either 4 or 8 % Salecan for 26 d and DSS was administered to induce acute colitis during the last 5 d of the experimental period. Several clinical and inflammatory parameters as well as mRNA expression of TNF-α and Dectin-1 were evaluated. The results indicated that the dietary incorporation of Salecan attenuated the severity of DSS colitis as evidenced by the decreased disease activity index, reduced severity of anaemia, attenuated changes in colon architecture and reduced colonic myeloperoxidase activity. This protection was associated with the down-regulation of TNF-α mRNA levels, which might derive from its ability to increase Dectin-1 mRNA levels. In conclusion, the present study suggests that Salecan contributes to the reduction of colonic damage and inflammation in mice with DSS-induced colitis and holds promise as a new, effective nutritional supplement in the management of inflammatory bowel disease.
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