Effects of Enteral Nutrition on the Barrier Function of the Intestinal Mucosa and Dopamine Receptor Expression in Rats With Traumatic Brain Injury

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Impaired intestinal mucosal barrier (IMB) function is common in traumatic brain injury (TBI), but dopamine receptors (DRs) change in intestinal mucosa after TBI, and effects of enteral nutrition (EN) and supplements on IMB function remain unclear. Our purpose was to study the effects of EN and supplements on intestinal mucosal permeability (IMPB) and the expression of DRs DRD1 and DRD2 in the intestinal mucosa of rats with TBI.


Forty-eight rats were divided into 8 groups; control, animals with TBI, dopamine group, animals with TBI treated with dopamine antagonist, EN alone, or EN combined with glutamine, probiotics, or a combination of probiotics and glutamine daily after TBI.


The IMPB was improved in the glutamine, probiotics, and combination groups. Including probiotics improved IMPB more than adding glutamine, and bacterial translocation in the intestines after TBI was reduced in the probiotics and combination groups (all Ps < .01). TBI led to elevated DRD1 and DRD2 mRNA and protein levels, which were reduced in the DA antagonist, glutamine, probiotics, and combination groups. DRD2 mRNA and protein levels in the probiotics and combination groups were decreased more than in the DA antagonist group (all Ps < .01). The increased IMPB after TBI correlated with increased DRD1 and DRD2 levels in the rat intestinal mucosa.


EN supplemented with probiotics or combining glutamine and probiotics lowers the increased IMPB, bacterial translocation, and DRD1 and DRD2 mRNA and protein expression in rat intestinal mucosa caused by TBI. (JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr, 2015;39:114–123)

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