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Microbiol Immunol. 2002;46(11):781-5.

Stimulation of the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by Bifidobacterium strains.

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  • 1Technical Research Laboratory; Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd., Yokohama, Kanagawa 241-0023, Japan.


To characterize the ability of bifidobacteria to affect the production of macrophage-derived cytokines, a murine macrophage-like cell line, J774.1, was cultured in the presence of 27 strains of heat-inactivated bifidobacteria. Bifidobacterium adolescentis and B. longum, known as adult-type bifidobacteria, induced significantly more pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion, IL-12 and TNF-alpha, by J774.1 cells, than did the infant-type bifidobacteria, B. bifidum, B. breve, and B. infantis (P<0.01). In contrast, B. adolescentis did not stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory IL-10 from J774.1 cells as the other tested bacteria did. The results suggest that the adult-type bifidobacteria, especially B. adolescentis, may be more potent to amplify but less able to down-regulate the inflammatory response.

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