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Milk fermented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 induces a regulatory cytokine profile in LPS-challenged U937 and THP-1 macrophages

  • 2020-11
  • Current Research in Food Science 3
    • M. Jeffrey
    • H. Jones Taggart
    • J. Strap
    • Gibran Edun
    • J. Green-Johnson


Fermented dairy products have become attractive functional foods for the delivery of probiotics and their biologically active metabolites. The aim of this study was to examine the immunomodulatory activity of milk fermented with the probiotic lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 (LrF) on macrophages challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent pro-inflammatory stimulus. To this end, human THP-1 or U937 monocytes were differentiated into resting macrophages then stimulated with LPS and co-incubated with the LrF or with milk controls. Levels of pro-inflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Culturing of LPS-stimulated U937 macrophages with either the whole or filtered LrF resulted in an increase in Interleukin (IL)-1Ra production relative to the negative control. THP-1 macrophages cultured with the LrF demonstrated an increase in LPS-induced IL-10 and IL-1β production, while production of LPS-induced IL-6, sCD54, IL-8, IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-12p70 and Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) was unaffected. Further, the LrF induced the expression of DC-SIGN and CD206, markers of immunoregulatory M2 macrophage polarization, in LPS-challenged THP-1 macrophages. Taken together, milk fermented with L. rhamnosus R0011 increased regulatory cytokine production from LPS-challenged U937 and THP-1 macrophages, while simultaneously up-regulating the production of IL-1β and expression of DC-SIGN and CD206, a profile characteristic of polarization into the immunoregulatory M2 macrophage phenotype.

Keywords: Bioactives; Fermented milk; Lactobacilli; Macrophage polarization.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011Increased Dendritic Cell-Specific Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-3-Grabbing Non-Integrin (DC-SIGN) ExpressionBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011Increased Expression of CD206Beneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011Increased IL-10 ProductionBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011Increased Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist ProductionBeneficial
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