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Saccharomyces boulardii produces a soluble anti-inflammatory factor that inhibits NF-kappaB-mediated IL-8 gene expression.

  • 2006-04
  • Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 343(1)
    • S. Sougioultzis
    • S. Simeonidis
    • K. Bhaskar
    • Xinhua Chen
    • P. Anton
    • S. Keates
    • C. Pothoulakis
    • C. Kelly


Saccharomyces boulardii (Sb) is a non-pathogenic yeast that ameliorates intestinal injury and inflammation caused by a wide variety of enteric pathogens. We hypothesized that Sb may exert its probiotic effects by modulation of host cell signaling and pro-inflammatory gene expression. Human HT-29 colonocytes and THP-1 monocytes were stimulated with IL-1beta, TNFalpha or LPS in the presence or absence of Sb culture supernatant (SbS). IL-8 protein and mRNA levels were measured by ELISA and RT-PCR, respectively. The effect of SbS on IkappaB alpha degradation was studied by Western blotting and on NF-kappaB-DNA binding by EMSA. NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression was evaluated by transient transfection of THP-1 cells with a NF-kappaB-responsive luciferase reporter gene. SbS inhibited IL-8 protein production in IL-1beta or TNFalpha stimulated HT-29 cells (by 75% and 85%, respectively; P<0.001) and prevented IL-1beta-induced up-regulation of IL-8 mRNA. SbS also inhibited IL-8 production, prevented IkappaB alpha degradation, and reduced both NF-kappaB-DNA binding and NF-kappaB reporter gene up-regulation in IL-1beta or LPS-stimulated THP-1 cells. Purification and characterization studies indicate that the S. boulardii anti-inflammatory factor (SAIF) is small (<1 kDa), heat stable, and water soluble. The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by producing a low molecular weight soluble factor that blocks NF-kappaB activation and NF-kappaB-mediated IL-8 gene expression in intestinal epithelial cells and monocytes. SAIF may mediate, at least in part, the beneficial effects of Saccharomyces boulardii in infectious and non-infectious human intestinal disease.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced IkappaB Alpha DegradationBeneficial
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced IL-8 ProductionBeneficial
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced Intestinal InflammationBeneficial
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced NF-kappaB-DNA BindingBeneficial
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced Pro-Inflammatory Gene Expression in Adipose TissueBeneficial
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