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Trends Microbiol. 2012 Jan;20(1):5-10. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2011.09.004. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Anti-inflammatory potential of probiotics: lipoteichoic acid makes a difference.

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Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, K.U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, Box 2460, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.


Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) mutants of lactobacilli suppress inflammation in animal models of experimental colitis. The fact that a single mutation of an administered Lactobacillus strain can result in enhanced probiotic efficacy is surprising given the genetic diversity and complexity of the intestinal niche, but at the same time exciting from a microbiological, immunological and gastroenterological point of view. In this Opinion article, we discuss the possible impacts of LTA modification in probiotic bacteria in the context of the current knowledge regarding the proinflammatory capacity of LTA, structure-activity relationships of LTA, intestinal LTA recognition in healthy and colitis conditions and anti-inflammatory molecules of lactobacilli.

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