Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Protection of Caco-2 cells from inflammatory stimuli of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) by the probiotics Bifidobacterium animalis (Ba) and Lactobacillus casei GG (LGG)

Probiotics are fundamental constituents of intestinal microflora, which may provide protection against inflammatory disease induced by pathogens. However, the mechanisms underlying their activities are still largely unknown. It has been investigated whether Bifidobacterium animalis and Lactobacillus casei GG protected the human intestinal Caco-2 cells from the infection of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strain K88. Both these probiotics were able to affect the ETEC adhesion. Moreover, they inhibit the strong neutrophil transmigration caused by ETEC infection.

The decrease of neutrophil migration was associated with an inhibition of the ETEC induced up-regulation of chemoattractant cytokines interleukin (IL)-8, growth-related oncogene (GRO)-a and epithelial neutrophil-activating peptide (ENA)-78. Moreover, B. animalis and L. casei GG counteracted the increase of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1b, interferon (IFN)-g and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-a, and the decrease of the anti-inflammatory transforming growth factor (TGF)-b, that were caused by ETEC infection.

The benefits were not ascribable to a bactericidal activity of probiotics, since the viability of ETEC was unaffected by growing the pathogen in medium containing B. animalis or L. casei GG. These results indicate that B. animalis and L. casei GG were able to protect the cells against ETEC infection by various mechanisms.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF RESEARCH FOR FOOD AND NUTRITION
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