Modulation of gut microbiota ecosystem by a glucan-rich snail mucin heteropolysaccharide attenuates loperamide-induced constipation

Hoon Kim, Eun Jin Jeong, Chunwoong Park, Jeong seok Lee, Woo Jung Kim, Kwang Won Yu, Hyung Joo Suh, Yejin Ahn, Sung Kwon Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to investigate the effect of oral administration of snail-derived mucin extract (SM) on ameliorating constipation symptoms of loperamide-induced constipated rats (n = 6). The analytical results indicated that SM mainly contains a glucan-rich snail mucin heteropolysaccharide with high molecular weights (108.5–267.9 kDa), comprising primarily of glucose (64.9 %) and galactose (22.4 %) with some deoxyhexoses (5.0 %) and hexosamines (4.9 %). Daily SM administration at doses of 10–40 mg/kg/day to the loperamide-induced constipated rats significantly (p < 0.05) ameliorated the deterioration in fecal parameters, such as numbers and weight of feces, fecal water contents, and gastrointestinal transit ratio. The histomorphometric results showed that the loperamide-induced decreases in the thickness of mucosal and muscularis mucosae layers as well as the distribution of mucin and c-KIT-positive areas were significantly (p < 0.05) improved via SM consumption at all doses tested. SM administration at all doses significantly increased the expression of genes encoding tryptophan hydroxylases (TPH1 and TPH2; p < 0.05), tight junction molecules (OCLN, CLDN1, and TJP1; p < 0.05), and mucin (MUC2 and MUC4; p < 0.05), but significantly decreased the aquaporin-encoding genes (AQP3 and AQP8; p < 0.05). Gut microbial community analysis indicated that SM administration could modulate loperamide-induced dysbiosis by increasing the phyla Actinobacteria (11.72–12.64 % at 10–40 mg/kg doses; p < 0.05) and Firmicutes (79.33 % and 74.24 % at 20 and 40 mg/kg doses; p < 0.05) and decreasing the phyla Bacteroidetes (5.98–12.47 % at 10–40 mg/kg doses; p < 0.05) and Verrucomicrobia (2.21 % and 2.78 % at 20 and 40 mg/kg doses; p < 0.05), suggesting that SM administration is effective in ameliorating constipation by controlling gut microbial communities. These findings can be utilized as fundamental data for developing novel functional materials using SM to prevent or treat constipation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126560
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 31

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Achatina fulica
  • Akkermansia
  • Intestinal barrier function
  • Intestinal dysbiosis
  • Slow transit constipation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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