Send to

Choose Destination
Support Care Cancer. 2014 Jun;22(6):1647-54. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2137-z. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Live and heat-killed Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG upregulate gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in 5-fluorouracil-pretreated Caco-2 cells.

Author information

Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Pediatrics, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, 291, Jhong Jheng Road, Jhong Ho District, Taipei, 23561, Taiwan,



This study investigates whether post-chemotherapeutic use of live and heat-killed Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG can modulate the expression of three pro-inflammatory cytokines in 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced intestinal mucositis in vitro.


Live L. rhamnosus GG and heat-killed L. rhamnosus GG were observed using scanning electron microscopy. To establish the duration required for optimal expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and interleukin-12 (IL-12), 5 μM of 5-FU was selected to treat 10-day-old Caco-2 cells for 4, 6, 8, and 24 h. Caco-2 cells were treated with 5-FU (5 μM) for 4 h, followed by the administration of live L. rhamnosus GG (multiplicity of infection = 25), and heat-killed L. rhamnosus GG for 2 and 4 h. Finally, total cellular RNA was isolated to quantify mRNA expression of TNF-α, MCP-1, and IL-12 using real-time PCR.


The results demonstrated that heat-killed L. rhamnosus GG remained structurally intact with elongation. A biphasic upregulated expression of TNF-α, MCP-1, and IL-12 was observed in 5-FU-treated Caco-2 cells at 4 and 24 h. Compared to non-L. rhamnosus GG controls in 5-FU-pretreated Caco-2 cells, a 2-h treatment of heat-killed L. rhamnosus GG significantly upregulated the MCP-1 expression (p < 0.05), and both live and heat-killed L. rhamnosus GG treatments lasting 4 h upregulated the TNF-α and MCP-1 expression (p < 0.05). Only live L. rhamnosus GG upregulated the IL-12 expression (p < 0.05).


Post-chemotherapeutic use of live or heat-killed L. rhamnosus GG can upregulate the gene expression of 5-FU-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines in Caco-2 cells. Human intestinal epithelium may be vulnerable to the post-chemotherapeutic use of L. rhamnosus GG in 5-FU-induced mucositis that requires further in vivo studies for clarification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center