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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 11;8(11):e78789. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078789. eCollection 2013.

Effects of Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens M1 isolated from kefir grains on germ-free mice.

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Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens M1 is a novel probiotic strain that was isolated from kefir grains. Previously, we have demonstrated the immunoregulatory, anti-allergic, anti-asthmatic and anti-colitis abilities of L. kefiranofaciens M1 in a number of in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. However, whether the effects of L. kefiranofaciens M1 are elicited directly on the host or act by regulating the host's microbiota remains unknown. A number of studies have used germ-free or gnotobiotic animals to investigate the relationship between probiotics and colitis; therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of L. kefiranofaciens M1 on germ-free mice. Such an approach should help in determining the direct effects of L. kefiranofaciens M1 on the host itself. Four-week-old female germ-free mice were inoculated intragastrically with 2×10(8) CFU/mouse L. kefiranofaciens M1 once or at 2-day intervals for 14 days. Bacterial colonization, the Th1/Th2 cytokine profile of the mice's splenocytes and the anti-colitis effect of L. kefiranofaciens M1 were investigated. The strongest response in terms of splenic Th1 cytokine IFN-γ and IL-12 production upon TLR activation was detected in the continuous treatment group when comparing to the single inoculation group and the germ-free control. In addition, continuous inoculation with L. kefiranofaciens M1 was found to ameliorate the symptoms of DSS-induced colitis in germ-free mice. However, L. kefiranofaciens M1 failed to colonize the host. Thus it would seem that L. kefiranofaciens M1 is likely to act directly on the host and not be involved in microbiota regulation.

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