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Int Rev Immunol. 2016 May 3;35(3):179-88. doi: 10.3109/08830185.2015.1096937. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

Mechanism of Action of Probiotic Bacteria on Intestinal and Systemic Immunities and Antigen-Presenting Cells.

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a School of Biological Sciences , The University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong.
b Present address: School of Science and Technology , The Open University of Hong Kong >, Hong Kong.
c Present address: Department of Environmental Health , National Institute for Health and Welfare , Kuopio , Finland.
d Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition , University of Easter Finland , Kuopio , Finland.


Immunomodulation has been shown to be one of the major functions of probiotic bacteria. This review is presented to provide detailed information on the immunomodulatory properties of probiotics in various animal models and clinical practices. Probiotics can regulate helper T (Th) responses and release of cytokines in a strain-specific manner. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG can induce beneficial Th1 immunomodulatory effect in infants with cow's milk allergy and relieve intestinal inflammation in atopic children by promoting IL-10 generation. Mechanism of action of probiotics on antigen-presenting cells at gastrointestinal tract is also postulated in this review. Probiotic bacterial cells and their soluble factors may activate dendritic cells, macrophages, and to certain extent monocytes via toll-like-receptor recognition and may further provoke specific Th responses. They are speculated to elicit immunomodulatory effects on intestinal and systemic immunities.


antigen-presenting cells; immunomodulation; mechanism of action; probiotic bacteria

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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