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Lactobacillus acidophilus modulates intestinal pain and induces opioid and cannabinoid receptors

Nature Medicine volume 13, pages 3537 (2007) | Download Citation

Abstract

Abdominal pain is common in the general population and, in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, is attributed to visceral hypersensitivity. We found that oral administration of specific Lactobacillus strains induced the expression of μ-opioid and cannabinoid receptors in intestinal epithelial cells, and mediated analgesic functions in the gut—similar to the effects of morphine. These results suggest that the microbiology of the intestinal tract influences our visceral perception, and suggest new approaches for the treament of abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Institut Universitaire de France and Danisco Cultures for their support.

Author information

Author notes

    • Xavier Thuru
    •  & Agathe Gelot

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U795, Hôpital Swynghedauw, Rue A Verhaeghe, 59037 Lille Cedex, France.

    • Christel Rousseaux
    • , Xavier Thuru
    • , Christel Neut
    • , Laurent Dubuquoy
    • , Caroline Dubuquoy
    • , Emilie Merour
    • , Mathias Chamaillard
    • , Jean-Frédéric Colombel
    •  & Pierre Desreumaux
  2. University of Lille 2, Hôpital Swynghedauw, Rue A Verhaeghe, 59037 Lille Cedex, France.

    • Christel Rousseaux
    • , Xavier Thuru
    • , Christel Neut
    • , Laurent Dubuquoy
    • , Caroline Dubuquoy
    • , Emilie Merour
    • , Mathias Chamaillard
    • , Jean-Frédéric Colombel
    •  & Pierre Desreumaux
  3. Digestive Tract Diseases and Nutrition Department, Huriez Hospital, 1 Place de Verdun, 59037 Lille Cedex, France.

    • Christel Rousseaux
    • , Xavier Thuru
    • , Christel Neut
    • , Laurent Dubuquoy
    • , Caroline Dubuquoy
    • , Emilie Merour
    • , Mathias Chamaillard
    • , Jean-Frédéric Colombel
    •  & Pierre Desreumaux
  4. INSERM U766, 28 Place Henri Dunant, BP 38, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France.

    • Agathe Gelot
    •  & Denis Ardid
  5. Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Médicale, University of Clermont 1, Unité de Formation et de Recherche Médecine, 28 Place Henri Dunant, BP 38, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France.

    • Agathe Gelot
    •  & Denis Ardid
  6. Institut Universitaire et Technologique de Biologie, Ensemble Universitaire des Cézeaux, BP 86, 63172 Aubière, France.

    • Agathe Gelot
    •  & Denis Ardid
  7. Laboratoire de Pathogénie Bactérienne Intestinale, Centre Biomédical de Recherche et de Valorisation, Facultés de Médecine et de Pharmacie, 28 Place Henri Dunant, 63001 Clermont-Ferrand, France.

    • Nicolas Barnich
  8. Department of Pathology and Gastroenterology, University of Leuven, Minderbroedersstraat 12, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

    • Karen Geboes
  9. Danisco Cultures Division, Danisco, 20 Rue Brunel, 75017 Paris, France.

    • Arthur Ouwehand
    • , Greg Leyer
    •  & Didier Carcano

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Contributions

C.R. conducted and performed the in vitro and in vivo experiments. X.T., L.D., C.D. and E.M. contributed to the in vitro and in vivo experiments. M.C. was involved in the Rela−/− experiment. A.G. and D.A. performed colorectal distension in rodents. N.B. and C.N. were involved in the bacteriological experiment. K.G. performed the histological experiments. D.C. was involved in the research proposals and in the coordination of the studies within Danisco research centers. A.C.O. quantified NCFM DNA in the feces using PCR. G.L. validated the taxonomical analysis of the different bacterial species used in this study and performed measurements of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM products. J.-F.C. contributed to data discussion and analysis. P.D. designed and supervised the study, and wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

P.D. has received funding for research and clinical studies on probiotics and prebiotics from Danisco, Sanofi-Aventis, Syndifrais, Roquette and Lesaffre, and has also received consultation fees from Danisco, Danone and Roquette. In addition, P.D. is an inventor of patents filed by Danisco.

C.N. has received funding for research studies from Danone and Roquette.

D.C., A.O. and G.L. are employed by Danisco, which produces and markets the NCFM strain.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Pierre Desreumaux.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nm1521

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