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Benef Microbes. 2015;6(4):441-9. doi: 10.3920/BM2014.0108. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Heat-killed Lactobacillus gasseri can enhance immunity in the elderly in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study.

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1 Technical Research Laboratory, Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd., Yokohama, Kanagawa 241-0023, Japan.


This double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted to test whether Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 (TMC0356) can modify the immune response in the elderly. Heat-killed TMC0356 or placebo was orally administered to 28 healthy subjects aged 50-70 years old for 4 weeks at a dosage of 1.0×10(9) cfu/day. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected from the subjects before and after the study completion, together with general health and blood examination records. Isolated PBMCs were examined for the number of T cells, CD8(+)CD28(+) cells, native T cells, B cells, natural killer (NK) cells and the ratios of CD4/CD8 T cells and native/memory T cells. NK cell activation and concanavalin A-induced lymphocyte transformation of the isolated PBMCs were also examined. The number of CD8(+) T cells significantly increased in the subjects after TMC0356 oral administration (P<0.05). Furthermore, the population of CD8(+)CD28(+) T cells and the amount of lymphocyte transformation both significantly decreased in PBMCs from the placebo group (P<0.05). However, such changes were not observed in the subjects exposed to TMC0356. These results suggest that TMC0356 can increase the number of CD8(+) T cells and reduce CD28 expression loss in CD8(+) T cells of the elderly. The effect of TMC0356 on immune responses in the elderly may enhance their natural defence mechanisms against pathogenic infections.


CD8+CD28+ T cells; Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356; immunosenescence; probiotics

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