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Exp Dermatol. 2011 Oct;20(10):805-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01326.x. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

Oral administration of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 prevents allergen-induced dermatitis in mice.

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Allergy-Center-Charité, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.



The prevalence of allergies has been linked to Western life style factors including a decrease of microbial exposure. Probiotics, such as Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN), have been shown to be beneficial for prevention and treatment of several chronic inflammatory diseases.


The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of oral EcN administration on development and outcome of allergen-induced dermatitis.


In sensitized BALB/c mice, skin inflammation was induced by topical allergen application. EcN was administered orally in a preventive manner. Severity of dermatitis was analysed by evaluation of skin score, local cellular and cytokine profile. The systemic immune response was assessed by analysis of immunoglobulins and allergen-dependent cytokine response.


Oral EcN administration improved allergen-induced dermatitis dose-dependently. In parallel, a reduction of epidermal thickness and infiltrating immune cells together with an enhanced number of forkhead box P3 (Foxp3)(+) cells and a trend of increased IFNγ, IL-10 and TGFβ expression was detected in eczematous skin. In allergen-stimulated splenocytes reduced IL-4 and IFNγ along with an elevated IL-10 production and a tendency to an increased TGFβ secretion were observed.


Our findings indicate that EcN alters the local allergen-induced immune response by increase of Foxp3(+) cells and by favouring an immunoregulatory cytokine pattern. Thus, oral administration of EcN might be an effective strategy in prevention and potentially therapy of allergic inflammatory skin diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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