2019 Volume 38 Issue 1 Pages 23-29
Immunoglobulin (Ig) A in the mucus of the intestinal tract plays an important role in preventing the invasion of pathogenic microorganisms and regulating the composition of the gut microbiota. Several strains of probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are known to promote intestinal IgA production. Bacteria are also known to naturally release spherical membrane vesicles (MVs) that are involved in various biological functions such as quorum sensing, pathogenesis, and host immunomodulation. However, the production of MVs by LAB and their effects on host immunity remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the MV production by Lactobacillus sakei subsp. sakei NBRC15893 isolated from kimoto, the traditional seed mash used for brewing sake. MVs were separated from the culture broth of L. sakei NBRC15893 through filtration and density gradient ultracentrifugation and were observed by transmission electron microscopy. The MVs showed a spherical morphology, with a diameter of 30–400 nm, and contained proteins and nucleic acids. In addition, both the LAB cells and purified MVs promoted IgA production by murine Peyer’s patch cells. This MV- and cell-induced IgA production was suppressed by neutralization of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2, which recognizes cell wall components of gram-positive bacteria, using an anti-TLR2 antibody. Collectively, our results indicate that MVs released from L. sakei NBRC15893 enhance IgA production by activating host TLR2 signaling through its cell wall components. Thus, it is important to consider novel interactions between gut microbiota and hosts via MVs, and MVs derived from probiotic bacteria could have promising applications as safe adjuvants.