Interaction of lactic acid bacteria with the gut immune system

Abstract

Health claims of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) used in functional foods and pharmaceutical preparations are based on the capacity of these microorganisms to stimulate the host immune system. In this study, the antigenic effect of LAB (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) on the gut immune system of BALB/c mice was evaluated. A dose-dependent increase of the Bcl2 protein was observed with all LAB assayed. Furthermore, the analysis of cytokine-producing cells in the lamina propria of gut showed that TNFα and INFγ values, determined in macrophages cultured from Peyer patches, were enhanced for all the LAB assayed. An important increase of interleukins IL-10 and IL-4 was observed mainly in mice fed with Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus or Lactobacillus casei, while a significant induction of IL-2 and IL-12 was only observed with L. acidophilus (P<0.01). These effects were dose dependent. The role of produced cytokines in the balance Th1/Th2 was determined by a systemic antibody response against parenterally injected ovoalbumin. L. casei, L. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and L. acidophilus enhanced the IgG1 response favouring Th2 balance, while L. acidophilus also increased the IgG2a response inducing Th1 balance. S. thermophilus did not influence the balance Th1/Th2. Our studies showed that lactic acid bacteria induce distinct mucosal cytokine profiles showing different adjuvant capacity among them. Thus, selection of probiotic strain with immunological properties must be well defined to influence cytokine expression that favour the claimed immune response.

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Correspondence to G Perdigón.

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Perdigón, G., Maldonado Galdeano, C., Valdez, J. et al. Interaction of lactic acid bacteria with the gut immune system. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, S21–S26 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601658

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Keywords

  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • gut immunity
  • cytokines
  • Th1/Th2

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