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Cytokine. 2011 Nov;56(2):520-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2011.07.024. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria induce differential interferon-β profiles in dendritic cells.

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Department of Basic Sciences and Environment, Molecular Immunology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


The health promoting effects of probiotics are well-documented; however, current knowledge on immunostimulatory effects is based on data from a single strain or a limited selection of strains or species. Here, we compared the capacity of 27 lactobacilli and 16 bifidobacteria strains to stimulate bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC). Most lactobacilli strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, induced strong IL-12 and TNF-α production and up-regulation of maturation markers. In contrast, all bifidobacteria and certain lactobacilli strains were low IL-12 and TNF-α inducers. IL-10 and IL-6 levels showed less variation and no correlation with IL-12 and TNF-α. DC matured by strong IL-12-inducing strains also produced high levels of interferon (IFN)-β. When combining two strains, low IL-12 inducers inhibited this IFN-β production as well as IL-12 and Th1-skewing chemokines. The IFN-β induction was mediated through c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) irrespective of the stimulating strain. The inhibitory bacteria induced higher levels of the transcription factor c-Jun dimerization protein (JDP)-2, thereby counteracting the effect of JNK. Our data demonstrate that lactobacilli can be divided into two groups of bacteria featuring contrasting effects, while all bifidobacteria exhibit uniform effects. This underlines the importance of selecting the proper strain(s) for probiotic purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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