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Gut Microbes. 2013 Mar-Apr;4(2):152-7. doi: 10.4161/gmic.23444. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Lactocepin as a protective microbial structure in the context of IBD.

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Chair for Biofunctionality, ZIEL Research Center for Nutrition and Food Science, Technische Universität München, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.


Probiotics have been shown to exert beneficial effects in the context of different diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). However, clinical use of probiotics is hampered by lack of understanding of the protective mechanisms and by safety concerns regarding the application of high numbers of live bacteria in patients. The identification of protective microbial structure-function relationships might enable to overcome these restraints and might lead to innovative therapies using the isolated active microbial structures. In our study, we aimed to characterize the protective mechanisms of VSL#3, a clinically relevant probiotic mixture in IBD. We found Lactobacillus casei/paracasei-produced lactocepin to selectively degrade pro-inflammatory chemokines, resulting in reduced immune cell infiltration and reduced inflammation in experimental IBD models. As immune cell recruitment is a major proinflammatory mechanism our findings suggest that lactocepin might be of broad therapeutic relevance in an array of inflammatory diseases like IBD, allergic skin inflammation and psoriasis.


CEP; IBD; chemokines; inflammation; lactocepin; probiotic; protease; prtP

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