Asparagine preserves intestinal barrier function from LPS-induced injury and regulates CRF/CRFR signaling pathway.
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Stress causes intestinal inflammation and barrier dysfunction. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)/CRF receptor (CRFR) signaling pathway has been shown to be important for stress-induced intestinal mucosal alteration. L-Asparagine (ASN) is a powerful stimulator of ornithine decarboxylase and cell proliferation in a variety of cell types, including colonic cells. In the present study, we investigated whether dietary ASN supplementation could alleviate the damage of intestinal barrier function caused by LPS through modulation of CRF/CRFR signaling pathway. Twenty-four weaned pigs were randomly divided into one of four treatments: (1) non-challenged control; (2) Escherichia coli LPS challenged control; (3) LPS + 0.5% ASN; (4) LPS + 1.0% ASN. LPS stress induced villous atrophy, intestinal morphology disruption and decreased claudin-1 expression. ASN supplementation increased intestinal claudin-1 protein expression and alleviated villous atrophy and intestinal morphology impairment caused by LPS stress. In addition, ASN supplementation increased the number of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes and reversed the elevations of intestinal mast cell number and neutrophil number induced by LPS stress. Moreover, ASN decreased the mRNA expression of intestinal CRF, glucocorticoid receptors and tryptase. These results indicate that ASN attenuates intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by LPS stress, and regulates CRF/CRFR1 signaling pathway and mast cell activation.