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Orally Administered Bifidobacterium adolescentis Diminishes Serum Glutamate Concentration in Mice

  • 2023-08-17
  • Microbiology Spectrum 11(4)
    • F. Royo
    • H. Tamés
    • Guillermo Bordanaba-Florit
    • D. Cabrera
    • M. Azparren-Angulo
    • C. Garcia-Vallicrosa
    • A. Margolles
    • L. Ruiz
    • P. Ruas-Madiedo
    • J. M. Falcón-Pérez


Several studies have described the contribution of glutamate-transforming microbiota to the development of chronic ailments. For instance, the blood concentration of glutamate is higher in some patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and pain. Taking advantage of a naturally occurring strain of Bifidobacterium that is able to transform glutamate in γ-aminobutyric caid (GABA), B. adolescentis IPLA60004, we designed a placebo-controlled intervention to test if the presence of this GABA-producing bifidobacteria in mice was able to impact the concentration of glutamate in the blood in comparison with the administration of other strain of the same species lacking the genes of the glutamate decarboxylase (gad) cluster. Animals were fed every day with 8 log CFU of bacteria in a sterilized milk vehicle for 14 days. Samples from feces and blood were collected during this period, and afterwards animals were sacrificed, tissues were taken from different organs, and the levels of different metabolites were analyzed by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The results showed that both bacterial strains orally administered survived in the fecal content, and animals fed B. adolescentis IPLA60004 showed a significant reduction of their glutamate serum concentration, while a nonsignificant decrease was observed for animals fed a reference strain, B. adolescentis LGM10502. The variations observed in GABA were influenced by the gender of the animals, and no significant changes were observed in different tissues of the brain. These results suggest that orally administered GABA-producing probiotics could reduce the glutamate concentration in blood, opening a case for a clinical trial study in chronic disease patients. IMPORTANCE This work presents the results of a trial using mice as a model that were fed with a bacterial strain of the species B. adolescentis, which possesses different active genes capable of degrading glutamate and converting it into GABA. Indeed, the bacterium is able to survive the passage through the gastric tract and, more importantly, the animals reduce over time the concentration of glutamate in their blood. The importance of this result lies in the fact that several chronic ailments, such as fibromyalgia, are characterized by an increase in glutamate. Our results indicate that an oral diet with this probiotic-type bacteria could reduce the concentration of glutamate and, therefore, reduce the symptoms associated with the excess of this neurotransmitter.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium adolescentis; GABA; glutamate; gut microbiota; gut-brain axis; probiotic intervention.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium adolescentisReduced Serum Glutamate LevelsBeneficial
Bifidobacterium adolescentis iVS-1Reduced Serum Glutamate LevelsBeneficial
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