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Aflatoxin B₁ (AFB₁), a mycotoxin found in food and feed, is immunotoxic to animals and poses significant threat to the food industry and animal production. The primary target of AFB₁ is the liver. To overcome aflatoxin toxicity, probiotic-mediated detoxification has been proposed. In the present study, to investigate the protective effects and molecular mechanisms of Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Lactobacillus rhamnosus against liver inflammatory responses to AFB₁, mice were administered with AFB₁ (300 μg/kg) and/or Lactobacillus intragastrically for 8 weeks. AML12 cells were cultured and treated with AFB₁, BAY 11-7082 (an NF-κB inhibitor), and different concentrations of L. bulgaricus or L. rhamnosus. The body weight, liver index, histopathological changes, biochemical indices, cytokines, cytotoxicity, and activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway were measured. AFB₁ exposure caused changes in liver histopathology and biochemical functions, altered inflammatory response, and activated the NF-κB pathway. Supplementation of L. bulgaricus or L. rhamnosus significantly prevented AFB₁-induced liver injury and alleviated histopathological changes and inflammatory response by decreasing NF-κB p65 expression. The results of in vitro experiments revealed that _L._rhamnosus evidently protected against AFB₁-induced inflammatory response and decreased NF-κB p65 expression when compared with L. bulgaricus. These findings indicated that AFB₁ exposure can cause inflammatory response by inducing hepatic injury, and supplementation of L. bulgaricus or L. rhamnosus can produce significant protective effect against AFB₁-induced liver damage and inflammatory response by regulating the activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway.

Keywords: Lactobacillus bulgaricus; Lactobacillus rhamnosus; NF-κB; aflatoxin B1; inflammation; liver.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus bulgaricusPrevented Liver InjuryBeneficial
Lactobacillus bulgaricusReduced Liver InflammationBeneficial
Lactobacillus bulgaricus LB42Reduced AFB1-Induced Liver DamageBeneficial
Lactobacillus bulgaricus LB42Reduced Inflammatory ResponseBeneficial
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Liver Protection from Aflatoxin B1 DamageBeneficial
Lactobacillus bulgaricus SD-6833Reduced Liver InflammationBeneficial
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