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J Cell Physiol. 2013 Aug;228(8):1793-8. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24340.

Probiotic use decreases intestinal inflammation and increases bone density in healthy male but not female mice.

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Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


Osteoporosis can result from intestinal inflammation, as is seen with inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics, microorganisms that provide a health benefit to the host when ingested in adequate amounts, can have anti-inflammatory properties and are currently being examined to treat inflammatory bowel disease. Here, we examined if treating healthy male mice with Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 (a candidate probiotic with anti-TNFα activity) could affect intestinal TNFα levels and enhance bone density. Adult male mice were given L. reuteri 6475 orally by gavage for 3×/week for 4 weeks. Examination of jejunal and ileal RNA profiles indicates that L. reuteri suppressed basal TNFα mRNA levels in the jejunum and ileum in male mice, but surprisingly not in female mice. Next, we examined bone responses. Micro-computed tomography demonstrated that L. reuteri 6475 treatment increased male trabecular bone parameters (mineral density, bone volume fraction, trabecular number, and trabecular thickness) in the distal femur metaphyseal region as well as in the lumbar vertebrae. Cortical bone parameters were unaffected. Dynamic and static histomorphometry and serum remodeling parameters indicate that L. reuteri ingestion increases osteoblast serum markers and dynamic measures of bone formation in male mice. In contrast to male mice, L. reuteri had no effect on bone parameters in female mice. Taken together our studies indicate that femoral and vertebral bone formation increases in response to oral probiotic use, leading to increased trabecular bone volume in male mice.

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