Oregano Essential Oil Improves Intestinal Morphology and Expression of Tight Junction Proteins Associated with Modulation of Selected Intestinal Bacteria and Immune Status in a Pig Model.
Oregano essential oil (OEO) has long been used to improve the health of animals, particularly the health of intestine, which is generally attributed to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. However, how OEO acts in the intestine of pig is still unclear. This study was aimed at elucidating how OEO promotes the intestinal barrier integrity in a pig model. Pigs were fed a control diet alone or one supplemented with 25 mg/kg of OEO for 4 weeks. The OEO-treated pigs showed decreased (P < 0.05) endotoxin level in serum and increased (P < 0.05) villus height and expression of occludin and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) in the jejunum. These results demonstrated that the integrity of intestinal barrier was improved by OEO treatment. The OEO-treated pigs had a lower (P < 0.05) population of Escherichia coli in the jejunum, ileum, and colon than the control. This is in accordance with the greater inactivation (P < 0.05) of inflammation, which was reflected by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase B (Akt), and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways and expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum. Our results show that OEO promotes intestinal barrier integrity, probably through modulating intestinal bacteria and immune status in pigs.
Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:5436738. doi: 10.1155/2016/5436738. Epub 2016 May 29. PMID: 27314026; PMCID: PMC4903144.