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The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of Lactobacillus kefiri (PFT), a novel kefir product, on apoptosis of gastric cancer cells (AGS), breast cancer cells (4T1), and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Cells were cultured with PFT and apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry using 7-AAD dye and cytospin preparation. Mitochondrial dysfunction and expression of Bcl2 were monitored by flow cytometry. Results showed that PFT induced apoptosis in AGS gastric cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. Apoptosis was detected at a concentration of 0.3 mg/ml (20.8%), increased to 25.8% at 0.6 mg/ml, 37% at 1.2 mg/ml, 53.1% at 2.5 mg/ml, and peaked at 66.3% at 5.0 mg/ml. Apoptosis is associated with the decreased polarization of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and decreased Bcl2 expression. PFT-treated AGS cells manifested membrane blebbing, nuclear condensation, and fragmentation as identified in cytospin cytocentrifuge Giemsa stained preparations. On the other hand, flow cytometry analysis showed that PFT did not induce apoptosis in 4T1 breast cancer cells nor in PBMCs. These results suggest that PFT is safe for white blood cells and selectively induces apoptotic effects in gastric cancer cells. Hence, it may have potential as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of gastric cancers.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus kefiriIncreased Apoptosis in Breast Cancer CellsNeutral
Lactobacillus kefiriIncreased Cancer Cell ApoptosisBeneficial
Lactobacillus kefiriNo Apoptosis in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear CellsNeutral
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