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Nutrition. 2006 Jul-Aug;22(7-8):810-9.

Beneficial immunomodulatory activity of Lactobacillus casei in malnourished mice pneumonia: effect on inflammation and coagulation.

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Instituto de Bioquímica Aplicada, Facultad de Bioquímica, Química y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Tucumán, Argentina.



The effect of Lactobacillus casei CRL 431 immunomodulatory activity on inflammation and coagulation during pneumococcal pneumonia was investigated in malnourished mice.


Weaned mice were malnourished after they consumed a protein-free diet for 21 d. Malnourished mice were treated for 7 d with a balanced conventional diet (BCD) with L. casei supplementation (BCD+Lc) or without it. The malnourished control group received only a protein-free diet whereas well-nourished control (WNC) mice consumed BCD ad libitum. Mice were challenged by the intranasal route with pneumococci at the end of each dietary treatment. Lung injury, leukocyte recruitment, cytokine production, coagulation tests, and fibrin(ogen) deposition in lungs were evaluated.


Malnourished control mice showed impaired leukocyte recruitment and cytokine production, and more severe lung injuries when compared with WNC mice. Coagulation tests were significantly impaired in malnourished control group versus WNC group. Repletion with BCD or BCD+Lc improved these parameters, but only BCD+Lc mice achieved the values of WNC mice. In addition, the interleukin-10 level was higher in the BCD+Lc group than in the WNC group.


Repletion with supplemental L. casei accelerated recovery of the defense mechanisms against pneumococci by inducing different cytokine profiles. These cytokines would be involved in the improvement of the immune response and in the induction of a more efficient regulation of the inflammatory process, limiting the injury caused by infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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