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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 7;8(11):e78420. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078420. eCollection 2013.

Interaction with intestinal epithelial cells promotes an immunosuppressive phenotype in Lactobacillus casei.

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  • 1Advanced Therapies and Product Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.


Maintenance of the immunological tolerance and homeostasis in the gut is associated with the composition of the intestinal microbiota. We here report that cultivation of Lactobacillus casei ATCC 334 in the presence of human intestinal epithelial cells promotes functional changes in bacteria. In particular, the interaction enhanced the immunosuppressive phenotype of L. casei as demonstrated by the ability of L. casei to generate functional regulatory T cells (CD4+CD25+FoxP3+) and production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The results indicate microbe-host cross-talk that changes features of microbes, and suggest that in vitro simulation of epithelial cell interaction can reveal functional properties of gut microbes more accurately than conventional cultivation.

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