Lactobacillus delbrueckii TU-1, which apparently takes intact inulin into its cells and then degrades it intracellularly, was co-cultured in vitro with L. paracasei KTN-5, an extracellular inulin degrader; or L. plantarum 22A-3, a strain that is able to utilize fructose but not inulin; or both in order to prequalify inulin as a prebiotic agent in vivo. When L. delbrueckii TU-1 was co-cultured with L. paracasei KTN-5 on fructose or inulin, the growth of L. delbrueckii TU-1 on inulin was markedly higher than that of L. paracasei KTN-5, whereas the growth of L. delbrueckii TU-1 on fructose was much lower than that of L. paracasei KTN-5. These results suggest that L. delbrueckii TU-1 and L. paracasei KTN-5 were efficient at utilizing inulin and fructose, respectively. When L. plantarum 22A-3 was co-cultured with L. delbrueckii TU-1 on inulin, the growth of L. plantarum 22A-3 was enhanced by L. paracasei KTN-5 but not by L. delbrueckii TU-1, suggesting that the fructose moiety that L. paracasei KTN-5 released temporarily into the medium was “scavenged” by L. plantarum 22A-3. Thus, L. delbrueckii TU-1, L. paracasei KTN-5, and L. plantarum 22A-3 were then cultured altogether on inulin. The growth of L. delbrueckii TU-1 was unaffected but that of L. paracasei KTN-5 was markedly suppressed. This evidence suggests that prebiotic use of inulin supported the selective growth of intracellular inulin degraders such as L. delbrueckii rather than extracellular inulin degraders such as L. paracasei in the host microbiota.
Recently, the prevalence of allergies in Japan has been increasing. Certain types of fruit juice and lactic acid bacteria are known to alleviate allergic symptoms. Therefore, we examined whether citrus juice fermented by a specific lactic acid bacteria can improve the symptoms of Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCPsis). Lactobacillus plantarum YIT 0132 (LP0132) was selected based on its high proliferative activity in citrus juice and anti-inflammatory interleukin-10-inducing activity. Dietary administration of heat-killed LP0132 cells or citrus juice fermented with LP0132 was found to significantly suppress nasal rubbing in a JCPsis mouse model, indicating relief of allergy symptoms. To evaluate the effects of LP0132-fermented citrus juice on pollinosis symptoms and quality of life (QOL) in humans with JCPsis, a single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trial was conducted. The participants were 42 adults with JCPsis. They ingested 100 mL of sterilized LP0132-fermented citrus juice (active group) or unfermented citrus juice (placebo group) once daily for 8 weeks. Immediately after the pollen peak when allergy symptoms and QOL loss were most severe, itchy eyes, itchy skin, and QOL loss by JCPsis were alleviated in the active group compared with the placebo group. At 10 weeks after starting the intervention, increased the levels of blood eosinophils were significantly suppressed in the active group compared with the placebo group. We conclude that continuous ingestion of citrus juice fermented with LP0132 may help alleviate the allergy symptoms and impaired QOL caused by JCPsis.
To understand the immunomodulatory effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92 cells suggested from our previous study of in vivo anti-allergy and anti-virus effects, host immune responses in macrophage-like THP-1 cells after 4 h (the early phase) and 24 h (the late phase) of cocultivation with L-92 cells were investigated by transcriptome analysis. In the early phase of L-92 treatment, various transcription regulator genes, such as, NFkB1, NFkB2, JUN, HIVEP2 and RELB, and genes encoding chemokines and cytokines, such as CCL4, CXCL11, CCL3 and TNF, were upregulated. Two transmembrane receptor genes, TLR7 and ICAM1, were also upregulated in the early phase of treatment. In contrast, many transmembrane receptor genes, such as IL7R, CD80, CRLF2, CD86, CD5, HLA-DQA1, IL2RA, IL15RA and CSF2RA, and some cytokine genes, including IL6, IL23A and CCL22, were significantly upregulated in the late phase after L-92 exposure. Some genes encoding cytokines, such as IL1A, IL1B and IL8, and the enzyme IDO1 were upregulated at both the early and the late phases of treatment. These results suggest that probiotic L-92 might promote Th1 and regulatory T-cell responses by activation of the MAPK signaling pathway, followed by the NOD-like receptor signaling pathway in THP-1 cells.