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Probiotic mixture of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 attenuates hippocampal apoptosis induced by lipopolysaccharide in rats

  • 2018-12-11
  • International Microbiology 22(3)
    • Ghazaleh Mohammadi
    • L. Dargahi
    • T. Naserpour
    • Y. Mirzanejad
    • S. Alizadeh
    • A. Peymani
    • Marjan Nassiri-Asl


In recent years, the beneficial impact of targeted gut microbiota manipulation in various neurological disorders has become more evident. Therefore, probiotics have been considered as a promising approach to modulate brain gene expression and neuronal pathways even in some neurodegenerative diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of probiotic biotherapy with combination of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 on the expression levels of proteins critical to neuronal apoptosis in hippocampus of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-exposed rats. Four groups of animals (Control, LPS, Probiotic + LPS, and Probiotic) were treated with maltodextrin (placebo) or probiotic (109 CFU/ml/rat) for 2 weeks by gavage. On the 15th day, a single intraperitoneal dose of saline or LPS (1 mg/kg) was injected and 4 h later, protein assessment was performed by western blotting in hippocampal tissues. LPS significantly increased the Bax, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, and cleaved caspase-3 expression along with decreased the Bcl-2 and procaspase-3 protein levels. However, probiotic pretreatment (L. helveticus R0052 + B. longum R0175) significantly downregulated the Bax and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio accompanied with upregulated Bcl-2 expression. Prophylactic treatment with these bacteria also attenuated LPS-induced caspase-3 activation by remarkably increasing the expression of procaspase-3 while reducing the level of cleaved caspase-3 in target tissues. Our data indicate that probiotic formulation (L. helveticus R0052 + B. longum R0175) alleviated hippocampal apoptosis induced by LPS in rats via the gut-brain axis and suggest that this probiotic could play a beneficial role in some neurodegenerative conditions.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Gut microbiota manipulation; Gut-brain axis; Lipopolysaccharide; Neurodegenerative disease; Probiotic.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus helveticus R0052Decreased Bax to Bcl-2 Protein RatioBeneficial
Lactobacillus helveticus R0052Reduced Caspase-3 ActivityBeneficial
Lactobacillus helveticus R0052Reduced Hippocampal ApoptosisBeneficial
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