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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Dec;72(12):7460-7. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Constitutive delivery of bovine beta-lactoglobulin to the digestive tracts of gnotobiotic mice by engineered Lactobacillus casei.

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  • 1Unité d'Immuno-Allergie Alimentaire, INRA-CEA, CEA de Saclay, SPI-Bât. 136, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France.


The gut microbiota is critical for maturation of the immune system. Recent evidence suggests that early establishment of lactobacilli in the intestinal microbiota, during neonatal colonization or by probiotic supplementation, could prevent the development of allergic disorders. Postnatal maturation of the gut immune system with allergen-producing lactobacilli colonizing the digestive tract could then affect the development of further allergic sensitization. In this paper, we describe construction of a recombinant Lactobacillus casei strain that can constitutively deliver bovine beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), a major cow's milk allergen, to the guts of gnotobiotic mice. The blg gene was inserted into the L. casei chromosome downstream of an endogenous promoter. BLG production was improved by fusing the propeptide LEISSTCDA (LEISS) to the BLG mature moiety. This led to a 10-fold increase in LEISS-BLG production compared to the production obtained without the propeptide and also led to enhanced secretion corresponding to 5% of the total production. After inoculation into germfree C3H/HeN mice, the genetic stability of the recombinant strain and in vivo BLG production were confirmed for at least 10 weeks. BLG stimulation of spleen cells from mice monoassociated with the BLG-producing lactobacilli induced secretion of the Th1 cytokine gamma interferon and, to a lesser extent, the Th2 cytokine interleukin-5. No BLG-specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), IgG2a, or IgA was detected in sera or in fecal samples. These results suggest that gut colonization with allergen-producing lactobacilli could provide a useful model for studying the modulation of allergic disorders.

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