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BMC Immunol. 2008 Jun 13;9:27. doi: 10.1186/1471-2172-9-27.

Effect of the administration of a fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 on intestinal microbiota and gut associated immune cells of nursing mice and after weaning until immune maturity.

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Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA-CONICET), Chacabuco 145, San Miguel de Tucumán (T4000ILC) Tucumán, Argentina.



Microbial colonization of the intestine after birth is an important step for the development of the gut immune system. The acquisition of passive immunity through breast-feeding may influence the pattern of bacterial colonization in the newborn. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the administration of a probiotic fermented milk (PFM) containing yogurt starter cultures and the probiotic bacteria strain Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 to mothers during nursing or their offspring, on the intestinal bacterial population and on parameters of the gut immune system.


Fifteen mice of each group were sacrificed at ages 12, 21, 28 and 45 days. Large intestines were taken for determination of intestinal microbiota, and small intestines for the study of secretory-IgA (S-IgA) in fluid and the study of IgA+ cells, macrophages, dendritic cells and goblet cells on tissue samples. The consumption of the PFM either by the mother during nursing or by the offspring after weaning modified the development of bifidobacteria population in the large intestine of the mice. These modifications were accompanied with a decrease of enterobacteria population. The administration of this PFM to the mothers improved their own immune system and this also affected their offspring. Offspring from mice that received PFM increased S-IgA in intestinal fluids, which mainly originated from their mother's immune system. A decrease in the number of macrophages, dendritic cells and IgA+ cells during the suckling period in offspring fed with PFM was observed; this could be related with the improvement of the immunity of the mothers, which passively protect their babies. At day 45, the mice reach maturity of their own immune system and the effects of the PFM was the stimulation of their mucosal immunity.


The present work shows the beneficial effect of the administration of a PFM not only to the mothers during the suckling period but also to their offspring after weaning and until adulthood. This effect positively improved the intestinal microbiota that are related with a modulation of the gut immune response, which was demonstrated with the stimulation of the IgA + cells, macrophages and dendritic cells.

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