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Dietary intake of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 enhances production of both Th1 and Th2 cytokines in antigen-primed mice

  • 2002-05-01
  • Medical Microbiology and Immunology 191(1)
    • M. L. Cross
    • Rikke R. Mortensen
    • Jane Kudsk
    • H. Gill


Probiotic lactobacilli have been proposed as a potential oral bacteriotherapeutic means of modulating immune phenotype expression in vivo, via their ability to promote cytokine production. This study investigated the ability of a known interferon (IFN)gamma-promoting probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus HNOOI) to modulate cytokine production in mice expressing an on-going Th2-type immune response. BALB/c mice were primed to ovalbumin in alum adjuvant to invoke antigen-specific Th2 cytokine-secreting cell populations. Mice that were fed Lb. rhamnosus HN001 during antigen sensitization produced higher levels of lymphocyte-derived IFNgamma, but also interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5, in comparison to control animals. Although HN001 was additionally shown to induce pro-IFNgamma monokine (IL-12, IL-18) secretion in macrophages in vitro, its ability to invoke mixed lymphocyte cytokine production during an on-going Th2-type immune response in vivo suggests that this probiotic is a general immunostimulatory agent, in contrast to the pro-Th1/anti-Th2 immunoregulation reported for some strains of IFNgamma-promoting lactobacilli.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Improved Cytokine ProductionNeutral
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