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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40271. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040271. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Perinatal maternal administration of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC 2461 prevents allergic inflammation in a mouse model of birch pollen allergy.

Author information

1
Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The hygiene hypothesis implies that microbial agents including probiotic bacteria may modulate foetal/neonatal immune programming and hence offer effective strategies for primary allergy prevention; however their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. We investigated whether oral administration of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC 2461 to mothers during gestation/lactation can protect against airway inflammation in offspring in a mouse model of birch pollen allergy, and examined the immune mechanisms involved.

METHODS:

BALB/c mice were treated daily with L. paracasei in drinking water or drinking water alone in the last week of gestation and during lactation. Their offspring were sensitized with recombinant Bet v 1, followed by aerosol challenge with birch pollen extract.

RESULTS:

Maternal exposure to L. paracasei prevented the development of airway inflammation in offspring, as demonstrated by attenuation of eosinophil influx in the lungs; reduction of IL-5 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage, and in lung and mediastinal lymph node cell cultures; and reduced peribronchial inflammatory infiltrate and mucus hypersecretion. While allergen-specific IgE and IgG antibody levels remained unchanged by the treatment, IL-4 and IL-5 production in spleen cell cultures were significantly reduced upon allergen stimulation in offspring of L. paracasei treated mice. Offspring of L. paracasei supplemented mothers had significantly reduced Bet v 1-specific as well as Concanavalin A-induced responses in spleen and mesenteric lymph node cell cultures, suggesting the modulation of both antigen-specific and mitogen-induced immune responses in offspring. These effects were associated with increased Foxp3 mRNA expression in the lungs and increased TGF-beta in serum.

CONCLUSION:

Our data show that in a mouse model of birch pollen allergy, perinatal administration of L. paracasei NCC 2461 to pregnant/lactating mothers protects against the development of airway inflammation in offspring by activating regulatory pathways, likely through TLR2/4 signalling.

PMID:
22792257
PMCID:
PMC3391241
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0040271
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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