Perilla Frutescens targets intestinal permeability
In vitro study on TNF-α stress-induced barrier dysfunction in intestinal epithelial cells


Sybille Buchwald-Werner1*, Sandro Lüscher2, Shotaro Kudo3, Veronika Butterweck2
*Corresponding author
1. Vital Solutions GmbH, Hausinger Strasse 6, 40764 Langenfeld, Germany
2. Institute for Pharma Technology, School of Life Sciences University
of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Muttenz, Switzerland,
3. Shotaro Kudo, Amino Up Chemicals Co. Ltd., 363-32 Shin-ei Kivota, Sapporo, Japan


Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton leaves are used as food and food supplements. A proprietary Perilla frutescens leaf extract was tested for its  preventive effects on TNF-α-caused tight junction leakage in Caco-2 cells employing a state-of-the art trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measuring device (cellZScope). Perilla frutescens leaf extract showed a significant preventive effect against TNF-α-induced tight junction leakage in Caco-2 cells. Results underline beneficial effects for the prevention of leaky gut, gut irritations and inflammations, and highlight the suitability of the extract as alternative or supplement to immunology-based therapies of irritable bowel disease (IBD).


The human intestine regulates not only the absorption of nutrients; it also has an important function as a barrier, which prevents antigens and pathogens from entering the mucosal tissues. Tight junctions (TJ) regulate the barrier function of the epithelium (1). It has been demonstrated that an impairment of the TJ shield by multiple factors including cytokines (notably TNF-α) is associated with various inflammatory diseases. TNF-α is not only a pro-inflammatory cytokine but also a very potent inducer of epithelial TJ disruption, commonly also named leaky intestinal barrier or leaky gut (2–4). Although there is an increasing demand for natural products preserving tight junction barrier function, there are not many studies available that investigated these effects for food ingredients. In our study, a proprietary Perilla frutescens leaf extract (PE) was used, which had demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects before (9). Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton is an annual edible herbaceous plant native to Asia. Common names are Shiso or Japanese Basil. It is a member of the family Lamiaceae. Perilla leaves are used as tea, food or spice (5,6). The ...