Human Milk Oligosaccharides Mediate the Crosstalk Between Intestinal Epithelial Caco-2 Cells and Lactobacillus Plantarum WCFS1 in an In Vitro Model with Intestinal Peristaltic Shear Force

Kong, C., Cheng, L., Krenning, G., Fledderus, J., de Haan, B. J., Walvoort, M. T. & de Vos, P., Aug-2020, In : Journal of Nutrition. 150, 8, p. 2077-2088 12 p., nxaa162.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

BACKGROUND: The intestinal epithelial cells, food molecules, and gut microbiota are continuously exposed to intestinal peristaltic shear force. Shear force may impact the crosstalk of human milk oligosaccharides (hMOs) with commensal bacteria and intestinal epithelial cells.

OBJECTIVES: We investigated how hMOs combined with intestinal peristaltic shear force impact intestinal epithelial cells and crosstalk with a commensal bacterium.

METHODS: We applied the Ibidi system to mimic intestinal peristaltic shear force. Caco-2 cells were exposed to a shear force (5 dynes/cm2) for 3 d, and then stimulated with the hMOs, 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL), 3-FL, and lacto-N-triose II (LNT2). In separate experiments, Lactobacillus plantarumWCFS1 adhesion to Caco-2 cells was studied with the same hMOs and shear force. Effects were tested on gene expression of glycocalyx-related molecules (glypican 1 [GPC1], hyaluronan synthase 1 [HAS1], HAS2, HAS3, exostosin glycosyltransferase 1 [EXT1], EXT2), defensin β-1 (DEFB1), and tight junction (tight junction protein 1 [TJP1], claudin 3 [CLDN3]) in Caco-2 cells. Protein expression of tight junctions was also quantified.

RESULTS: Shear force dramatically decreased gene expression of the main enzymes for making glycosaminoglycan side chains (HAS3 by 43.3% and EXT1 by 68.7%) (P <0.01), but did not affect GPC1 which is the gene responsible for the synthesis of glypican 1 which is a major protein backbone of glycocalyx. Expression of DEFB1, TJP1, and CLDN3 genes was decreased 60.0-94.9% by shear force (P <0.001). The presence of L. plantarumWCFS1 increased GPC1, HAS2, HAS3, and ZO-1 expression by 1.78- to 3.34-fold (P <0.05). Under shear force, all hMOs significantly stimulated DEFB1 and ZO-1, whereas only 3-FL and LNT2 enhanced L. plantarumWCFS1 adhesion by 1.85- to 1.90-fold (P <0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: 3-FL and LNT2 support the crosstalk between the commensal bacterium L. plantarumWCFS1 and Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells, and shear force can increase the modulating effects of hMOs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernxaa162
Pages (from-to)2077-2088
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Early online date15-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2020


  • shear force, human milk oligosaccharides, Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, gut barrier function, intestinal epithelium, GLYCOCALYX, EXPRESSION

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