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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Sep;17(9):1337-43. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00143-10. Epub 2010 Jul 28.

Effects of lactobacilli on cytokine expression by chicken spleen and cecal tonsil cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus salivarius are all normal residents of the chicken gastrointestinal tract. Given the interest in using probiotic bacteria in chicken production and the important role of the microbiota in the development and regulation of the host immune system, the objective of the current study was to examine the differential effects of these bacteria on cytokine gene expression profiles of lymphoid tissue cells. Mononuclear cells isolated from cecal tonsils and spleens of chickens were cocultured with one of the three live bacteria, and gene expression was analyzed via real-time quantitative PCR. All three lactobacilli induced significantly more interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) expression in spleen cells than in cecal tonsil cells, indicating a more inflammatory response in the spleen than in cecal tonsils. In cecal tonsil cells, substantial differences were found among strains in the capacity to induce IL-12p40, IL-10, IL-18, transforming growth factor beta4 (TGF-beta4), and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma). In conclusion, we demonstrated that L. acidophilus is more effective at inducing T-helper-1 cytokines while L. salivarius induces a more anti-inflammatory response.

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