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Protective Effects of Lignite Extract Supplement on Intestinal Barrier Function in Glyphosate-Mediated Tight Junction Injury

Background: Disruption of tight junctions is associated with various inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel syndrome. Tight junctions form a protective barrier throughout the intestinal tract that is central to health. Glyphosate is known to inhibit tight junction function. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a soil-derived, lignite extract dietary supplement in protecting against glyphosate’s effect on the tight junctions in cell culture.

Methods: Small bowel (IEC-6) and colon epithelium (Caco-2) cells were incubated until a stable Transepithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) was measured. A control and the lignite extract supplement (20% concentration) were placed on the cells and left overnight. These cells were then treated with and without glyphosate at 10 mg/ml. TEER was measured at 30 min. The expression of the tight junctions was determined by immunofluorescent microscopy of the ZO-1 tight junction element before and after overnight incubation, and following glyphosate exposure.

Results: TEER increased with the lignite extract on IEC-6 (95%) and Caco-2 (35%) compared to the control. Glyphosate dramatically decreased the TEER in both IEC-6 (80%) and Caco-2 (76%) cells. The lignite extract blocked the glyphosatemediated decrease in TEER.

Conclusion: The lignite extract supplement blocked a glyphosate-dependent decrease in TEER in both cell lines. If found efficacious in clinical trials, RESTORE could prove helpful in combating intestinal sensitivities caused by glyphosatemediated tight junction disruption.


John J Gildea, David A Roberts and Zachary Bush

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