Anti-inflammatory effects of the octapeptide NAP in human microbiota-associated mice suffering from subacute ileitis

Ulrike Escher, Eliezer Giladi, Ildikò R. Dunay, Stefan Bereswill, Illana Gozes, Markus M. Heimesaat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The octapeptide NAP is well known for its neuroprotective properties. We here investigated whether NAP treatment could alleviate pro-inflammatory immune responses during experimental subacute ileitis. To address this, mice with a human gut microbiota were perorally infected with one cyst of Toxoplasma gondii (day 0) and subjected to intraperitoneal synthetic NAP treatment from day 1 until day 8 postinfection (p.i.). Whereas placebo (PLC) control animals displayed subacute ileitis at day 9 p.i., NAP-treated mice exhibited less pronounced pro-inflammatory immune responses as indicated by lower numbers of intestinal mucosal T and B lymphocytes and lower interferon (IFN)-γ concentrations in mesenteric lymph nodes. The NAP-induced anti-inflammatory effects were not restricted to the intestinal tract but could also be observed in extra-intestinal including systemic compartments, given that pro-inflammatory cytokines were lower in liver, kidney, and lung following NAP as compared to PLC application, whereas at day 9 p.i., colonic and serum interleukin (IL)-10 concentrations were higher in the former as compared to the latter. Remarkably, probiotic commensal bifidobacterial loads were higher in the ileal lumen of NAP as compared to PLC-treated mice with ileitis. Our findings thus further support that NAP might be regarded as future treatment option directed against intestinal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP)
  • Extra-intestinal and systemic immune responses
  • Fecal microbiota transplantation
  • Host immunity
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Human gut microbiota
  • Intestinal
  • Octapeptide NAP
  • Secondary abiotic (gnotobiotic) mice
  • Subacute ileitis
  • Toxoplasma gondii


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