Inulin alleviates perfluorooctanoic acid-induced intestinal injury in mice by modulating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway

pubmed: wnt1 2024-04-19

Environ Pollut. 2024 Feb 1;342:123090. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.123090. Epub 2023 Dec 8.


Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a widely used industrial compound that has been found to induce intestinal toxicity. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully clarified and effective interventions are rarely developed. Inulin, a prebiotic, has been used as a supplement in human daily life as well as in gastrointestinal diseases and metabolic disorders. In this study, male mice were exposed to PFOA with or without inulin supplementation to investigate the enterotoxicity and potential intervention effects of inulin. Mice were administered PFOA at 1 mg/kg/day, PFOA with inulin at 5 g/kg/day, or Milli-Q water for 12 weeks. Histopathological analysis showed that PFOA caused colon shortening, goblet cell reduction, and inflammatory cell infiltration. The expression of the tight junction proteins ZO-1, occludin and claudin5 significantly decreased, indicating impaired barrier function. According to the RNA-sequencing analysis, PFOA exposure resulted in 917 differentially expressed genes, involving 39 significant pathways, such as TNF signaling and cell cycle pathways. In addition, the protein expression of TNF-α, IRG-47, cyclinB1, and cyclinB2 increased, while Gadd45γ, Lzip, and Jam2 decreased, suggesting the involvement of the TNF signaling pathway, cell cycle, and cell adhesion molecules in PFOA-associated intestinal injury. Inulin intervention alleviated PFOA-induced enterotoxicity by activating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway and increasing the protein expression of Wnt1, β-catenin, PI3K, Akt3, and p62, while suppressing MAP LC3β, TNF-α, and CyclinE expression. These findings suggested that PFOA-induced intestinal injury, including inflammation and tight junction disruption, was mitigated by inulin through modifying the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways. Our study provides valuable insights into the enterotoxic effects of PFOA and highlights the potential therapeutic role of inulin.

PMID:38072026 | DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2023.123090